It feels like its common knowledge, but just in case it’s not, I’ll share that I’m not a fan of flying. I have tricked myself into the practice, and admittedly, its gotten better, thanks to the prayers of the righteous, but I still have a little ways to go. I wasn’t always this way; but being on a plane that was struck by lightening twice, coupled with an emergency landing in a random airport in Kentucky rattled my nerves and my psyche such to the extent that I no longer find the skies friendly. However, again, its gotten better and I am standing on the belief that it will continue in that same vein. The Word of God says, “I will use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise,” (I Corinthians 1:27) and just so I’m not (and possibly you) exempt, I find that in this season, God is ensuring that I don’t miss “it” so he is making it plain – or in this scenario, making it “plane.” Here’s why…
Over the weekend, while traveling to visit my mother, I had to change planes once. During the first leg of my flight, I failed to select a seat on my own, thereby leaving myself at the discretion of the airlines. Wouldn’t you know that I was assigned an exit row seat? I’d not realized it, until the flight attendant pleasantly stopped by and stated, “You are in an exit row, may I have your permission to assist the crew in case of an emergency?” I must have simply nodded, because she followed up with, “I need a verbal YES!” I looked around me, realizing that perhaps I was one of, if not the most uncomfortable person on this plane being asked to be level-headed, calm and helpful during a crisis. I looked at the wings, and imagined every horrific scene on a plane that I’d consumed since the age of 7 and multiplied them times 100! As she looked in my face for what felt like an eternity, I said, “Yes.” She said thank you, and walked away, slamming those overhead bins. As the loud echoing of that process sank in, I realized that is what God expects of us. A firm “YES” no matter how frightening the potentiality of the journey, despite one’s historical record, or comfortability with the directive, and further, even amidst continuing distractions as likened in the closing of those bins. As my stomach sank a bit further, I got up the nerve to tell the person sitting next to me, “I didn’t realize this was an exit row.” He responded, “Yes, isn’t the leg room great?” Not the response I was looking for, but it made me realize yet again, that what we may view as difficulty, others take pleasure in – and as opposed to me continuing to make myself disrupted by my affirmation, I could settle in and attempt to seek the good of the matter – just like my neighbor.
And I did. I threw on my shades, as the skies were bright, turned up my iPod and relaxed, just like everyone else. Then, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “I never called you to be ordinary.” The statement was as loud as the closing of those bins. I sat up. I assumed it was in response to my new found relaxation, just like everyone else, but as I listened deeper, it had nothing to do with my posture on the plane, but instead my posture in life. As I’ve shared in the navigation of trials over the last six to eight weeks, I’ve questioned God’s acknowledgement of me. I know, there are so many issues that require God’s attention, and yet, I was under the impression that we were in a good place – and indeed we are. I think I just got a little, dare I say it, angry in feeling that I’m not on the list of importance. I’ve felt instead that I was on the “watch list” giving God reason to question my potential actions. However, each of us made the most important list at Calvary and no matter what we are experiencing, or how we act out of character, even in our thoughts, God’s got us. Yet, in the making of ordinary, there is reference to plain; but extraordinary references exceptional, beyond what is plain. God is calling each of us to beyond what is plain, and that encompasses beyond what we know, beyond what we expect and beyond what we’ve experienced. And, God needs us! As we examine in deep sorrow the state of our nation, it is fair to say that whatever goodness the Lord has equipped us with is necessary in the healing of our land.
If I’d known at the gate that I was being assigned the exit row, I would have said, “No thank you, may I be reassigned? I wouldn’t have exhibited enough trust based upon my past experiences to believe that I would be the person for the position. God knows that about me (and you too), and therefore must place us in situations that require us to say “Yes” even if we do not know the conclusion of the matter. Proverbs 3:5 affirms, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” As we take heed to this directive, it is accompanied with blessings, one of which is found in Jeremiah 17:7-8: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” You were not called to be ordinary! It can’t get any more “plane” than that!