Friday, June 5, 2015

Faith is a Funny Thing

So once again I find myself going through my Bible, writing some notes in my journal and suddenly remembering that I haven't done a blog post in what seems like forever.  I've got quite a bit that I need to catch you up on so lets not waste time on my excuses and get into the good stuff.

So my last blog post was about a new beginning.  My first major leap of faith from my path into God's gracious hands.  Let me tell you, that was the best leap of faith I have taken thus far.  I never knew that leaving that ROTC path with all my faith in the Lord to lead me in the write direction would work out so amazingly like it did.

 It was the fall semester of my junior year here at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and things seemed to be doing alright.  I had quite a bit more free time so I filled it up with some more work, and club activities.  Flying was going as usual, and classes were relatively smooth sailing.  And as the semester began to wind down towards winter break I was feeling pretty content with the way things were.  But God had an amazing Christmas gift to send me, one that I would not have seen coming from a hundred miles away.

You know, the work that God does through others is truly astounding.  I mean, think back on the people who have had an impact on your life.  Think back to the path that brought the two of you together.  Maybe you had known them before, or maybe you didn't.  While at the time it may have seemed like a normal or lucky encounter, if you take some time to look back on that encounter you had and really examine the series of events that lead to it, you really start to see God's clever handy work.  Here's how God did this to me.

It was a pretty normal day except that I got out of class early.  I decided to walk with a friend over to the flight line since I had some spare time.  As I'm walking with them, an old friend of mine, who happened to be SGA president at that time, baited me into a seminar saying that they had free food.  Of course being a hungry college kid I took the bate, but my original plan was to take a sub and run.  As I picked up my sub I looked around at what was going on, there was about 5 guest speakers and only 4 students sitting around to listen at the time.  Even though I didn't really have much interest in sitting, my guilty conscious wouldn't let me be seen as another one of those college students who doesn't want to make time for the people that brought them free food.  Little did I know that my guilty conscious (which I claim was my inner voice of God at the time) was gonna lead me to an amazing opportunity.

One of the representatives that I got to hear speak was the chief pilot at Brown & Brown Insurance's corporate flight department.  As the panel finished up, most of the few people that were there went over to the person that was talking about the unmanned aerial systems.  That left the chief pilot wide open for conversation.  As I went up, introduced myself, and got to the talking I was invited to go over to their hangar and check out their airplanes.  I took them up on that offer not once, but twice.  I got to go over there and do the pre-flight with the pilots and help them set up the cockpit to go fly that day.  That little inner spark I had for my love of aviation blazed like a bonfire those two days.  Yet the best was yet to come.

It was the second visit I made to the hangar.  I was walking out of one of their Beechjets with a huge smile on my face, and see the chief pilot and chief mechanic standing their watching me on cloud nine.  As I stepped off the plane, the chief pilot looks at me, and asks if I'd like a job there.  I couldn't believe my ears.  Here is someone who I had only met three times, and he's asking me if I'd like a job there.  The chief had offered me a job to clean their planes for them because, I quote, he liked my "enthusiasm and personality."  Now some of you may look at that and go well, big whoop, your a pilot, don't you want to fly them not clean them.  Well yes that is true, however, what I have been given is a golden invitation into the world of corporate aviation.  A small connection that could have huge outcomes later on down my career road had just been made right there in that very instant.  It is a connection that I am thankful for every day when I'm cleaning the bugs off those jets.

Now lets do what I had said earlier and trace back what really brought me to that amazing moment.  Before I even entered college I had tried calling multiple airports to see if I could get a job just cleaning airplanes with no luck.  Freshman year of college, I pledge for a fraternity, long story short, that really didn't work out for me, however I made some great friends.  Now lets jump ahead three years.  The SGA president that pulls me in to that seminar was one of the fraternity brothers that I had met and became friends with way back in freshman year.  Now it would be one thing if I had hung out with him a lot over the two years after freshman year, but here's the thing, we didn't.  The only time we conversed was a quick, "whats up" between classes.  And while some of the other brothers that I had once met completely forgot about me, this one had not only remembered me, but remembered my name and was always respectful.  And by God's amazing grace, I had just happened to decide to take a different path that day after class than I usually do, which lead me to bump into my friend, which lead me to talking to the chief pilot, which lead me to the hangar, not once, but twice, and which lead me to my new job.

That right there was my complete eye awakening in my trust for the Lord.  Any thing that I was trying to hold on to at that point I immediately gave to God.  I had asked for his strength to get me through the news from ROTC and he gave it to me.  Not only that but he also gave me something that I never even thought would happen on top of that.  And looking back on that amazing set of events, there is no doubt in my mind that that was God's handy work.

Faith is not easy at first.  It's extremely terrifying to just let it all go into the hands of someone you can't even see.  However when you do, I promise you that you will find an inner peace that is unlike any that you have felt before.  There are no bad days, just days that are used to prepare for amazing days.  Every day is positive because you know that God has you.  You know from your experience that every time you have been in a situation where you weren't sure what was going to happen next, God would put something beautiful in front of you.  No, this may not happen in one day, maybe not even a week, month or even years.  But it will happen, and when it does, you will wonder why you ever had any doubts.

Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind."  And he was so correct.  But it is only when you fully surrender yourself to Jesus can you fully have what Paul is talking about.  The fear that you feel is not of God, but of your grasp that you have on situations that you should have given up to God.  The Lord knows what you need.  In Mathew 6:31-33 Jesus says, "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?'or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek.  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

So why do I say that faith is a funny thing?  Well often times when I look back on events like what I described above, I start laughing because of just how small I am in comparison to God's glory,  and I laugh at myself that I had ever worried at all.  As I now grow closer to graduation as a Senior now, the pondering thoughts of what will I do next start to creep into my head.  However I know that the Lord has me in His hands, and I completely trust Him to take me down the path which has always been His.  So I challenge whoever has read this to try to take that complete leap of faith.  Do not worry about where you will end up tomorrow, or the next day, or even the day after that.  Spend your day praising each and every moment, and all the little moments of happiness to God.  And when something starts getting rough, do not grab for the controls, but ask God to give you strength to ride out the storm.  Do this, and you will find that faith is a funny thing.

Inside their Citation Sovereign
 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things..." Matt 6:34