After a sudden, heart-stopping altitude drop on a plane trip, the pilot calmly told us that we had lost an engine. No big deal, he said. The plane had three good engines and could fly on one if need be.
Several minutes later, the pilot came back on the intercom to tell us that we had lost another engine. A few minutes later, the same thing happened. Every one handled this in his or her own way—praying, denial, and at least one—my father—engaged in frantic muttering that we were going down.
We didn’t. We landed safely. But from that moment on, I have been terrified to fly. I think the fear I had all along had just been nudged to front and center, making me realize I had no control over that little cabin in the sky.
It’s kind of like life. We’re hurtling through space in a fragile little vehicle. We may run into nature’s vagaries or human’s inhumanity to humans. We can only hope, and pray, for a safe landing.
This message was adapted from “Being in Control: Reality or Illusion?” by Clare La Plante that appeared in the September 2002 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.