Monday, August 13, 2012

God is my co-pilot

I am not a fan of bumper stickers. I am sure you were wondering where I stood on that issue, now you know. I do not have any bumper stickers on my car. My employer requires a parking decal but I have been granted permission to set it on my dashboard instead of sticking it on my bumper. With that said, I do not have anything against others who choose to put bumper stickers on their cars. As a matter of fact I tend to enjoy reading other people's bumper stickers from time to time. Of all the bumper stickers I see there is one that really bugs me, one that grates on my nerves. It is the semi-famous God is my co-pilot bumper sticker. I am sure it was thought of, printed and sold with the best of intentions but spiritually speaking it is way off. Let me explain.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to a work related conference on the West Coast. I live on the East Coast. This meant that I was going to have to fly to my destination. I have flown before but it has been several years since I last boarded a plane. As I stepped out of the jet bridge an into the plane I took a quick look into the cockpit of the plane. The pilots were sitting inside going through their pre-flight routine checking gauges, screens and pressing numerous buttons and switches.

As I was sitting in my seat for the approximately 7 hour flight the thought of this "God is my co-pilot" bumper sticker came to mind. Here is what I was thinking. I am on a journey from the East Coast to the West Coast. I do not know how to get there and I do not know how to fly the plane. If the flight attendant came out of the cockpit and asked me to take over as the pilot the only thing I could probably do is take the plane straight to the crash site! The only thing I know how to do on a plane is be a passenger. I have to trust that the pilot knows what he is doing, that he knows where we are going and he knows how to get us there safely. As a passenger on the plane I cannot see where we are going. All I can do is look out the window and try to see where I am at that time. I can see we are over land or water or mountains. Once the plane lands we hear the pilots voice come over the speaker system and welcome us to our destination and he always thanks us for flying his airline.

In life we are simply passengers. We do not control our lives, we do not know what the next day or hour or moment will bring. We do not know how our life will turn out. If God gave us control of our lives to do with as we pleased we would probably crash and burn rather quickly. The beauty of this is that we are not in control, we are not in the pilot's seat, God is. He is guiding us to our final destination.

Proverbs 16: 9 - In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

Proverbs 21: 1 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

Psalm 115: 3 - Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.

Isaiah 45: 7 - I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.

Daniel 4: 35 - All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
Now you see why this particular bumper sticker rubs me the wrong way. My guess is that the people with this on the back of their car thought it sounded "cute" or "sweet" but in reality it is an insult to God. In other words what they are saying is I am in control, I am flying the plane how and where I want and if I need my co-pilot I will let him know. How arrogant and how ignorant.

God is in complete control of my life, he does not need me or my opinions about how he should fly the plane. Knowing that, I can sit back, look out the window and enjoy the ride.

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