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‘Lo, I am with you always’ … but what about up high?

Blogging live from Oklahoma City
I’ve enjoyed the responses — some humorous, others heartwarming — to my Inside Story column on my fear of flying.
My friend James Crowder told me about Catherine Jordan, a fellow member of the Edmond Church of Christ in Oklahoma:

She also has a fear of flying and has often repeated her declaration that Jesus said, “And lo, I am with you always;” to which she adds, “He didn’t say anything about flying high.”

Longtime Tennessee minister Hugh Fulford shared this story:

If it is any comfort to you, the late B. C. Goodpasture, longtime editor of the Gospel Advocate (1939-1977), did not fly.
Many years ago, while George Pepperdine — the founder of George Pepperdine College — was still living, he invited brother Goodpasture out to the college to speak on the lectureship program. Goodpasture explained that he could not afford to be out of the GA office for three successive weeks — one to drive to L.A., one to be there for the lectures and one to drive back to Nashville.
Pepperdine said, “Why, brother Goodpasture, you won’t have to drive.  You can get on a plane in Nashville and be in Los Angeles in just a few hours.”
Goodpasture explained that he did not fly.
Pepperdine chided him a bit, saying that it took more faith to drive across country than it did to fly across country.
Goodpasture replied, “Well, in that case, brother Pepperdine, I have more faith than you do!”

Meanwhile, Kerri Glaude offered a more serious reflection:

I am a married, 48-year-old old woman with two boys in college. We worship with the Beebe Church of Christ in Beebe, Arkansas. I just wanted to thank you for your article on flying.
Usually, when I recieve The Christian Chronicle, I thumb through looking for articles that my boys can relate to, such as articles on Christian athletes, since they are both college baseball players at public universities.
However, when I came across your article, it slapped me in the face. I have decided to go on my first mission trip. I will be flying to Belize in July. The fear of flying is what has always held me back. I have had several panic attacks since I made my decision — “not liking to fly” is such an understatement!
As I read your article, I felt as though the Holy Spirit was using you to talk to me! Your analogy of the disciples in the boat hit me hard! I know I need a stronger faith.
I have never written to an editor of any publication … this is out of character for me, but I felt compelled to let you know that if your article means nothing to anyone else, it has helped me tremendously.  I’m cutting it out and taping it to my bathroom mirror so I can read it every day until I take off on July 17th!!

Read more reader feedback and join the conversation.

  • Feedback
    I absolutely hate flying. It’s probably a male-oriented control thing, but I didn’t like it before the TSA and they haven’t made it any better.
    I do, however, fly each year for a mission trip – usually to Greece. It’s the only way, so I grin and bear.
    One the positive side, it helps me each year to remember how to be gracious in trying circumstances…
    Jay Kelley
    February, 6 2012

    This little article really hit home with me. Although I had flown before, I had never flown abroad, mostly due to a degree of the “fear of flying.” The thought of what might go wrong, of course, is what had kept me from doing so. However, when an opportunity to fly to Australia in May 2011 arose, I looked deep into my well of excuses, and I found that the Lord was giving me an opportunity to let go of my fears and hand them over to Him. I am thankful to say that I made the trip, met some lovely people, saw some beautiful sights, and was blessed to worship with the Holland Park Church of Christ in the greater Bribane area. Now the Lord has given me a new sense of “wanderlust.” The barrier has been broken and my quest to live a “less wimpy” second half of my life has begun. (I turned 40 in 2010). Happy landings!
    Jennifer McMullen
    February, 6 2012

    You can take comfort in the knowledge when it happens it will be quick. You will feel nothing and there is a good chance your body will be vaporized or at least spread over such a wide area their will be no mess.
    Friends of mine consider airplanes coffins.
    On the other hand I know of a member of a parachuting team whose chute did not open. He went in conscious all the way and survived with injuries and broken bones. Arriving without a parachute requires certain actions be taken on your part but it can be done. Yelling at the top of your lungs “GERONIMO!!!” might help.
    John Jenkins
    February, 8 2012

    That is, um, comforting. Thanks, John. 🙂
    Bobby Ross Jr.
    February, 8 2012

Filed under: News Extras Reader Feedback

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