Recently my husband and I went away together on a MUCH needed flying trip. We were part of a group of five airplanes, meeting up with a larger crowd at our final destination which was a pan in the Kalahari right near the Namibian border.
It was an incredible adventure during which I experienced numerous “extremes”: extreme distance (over 2000km), extreme heat, and extreme wind of 45knots – so rough we had to ground the planes! We also experienced extreme cold that woke us up to frosted windshields on our last morning.
To spice things up a little more, my husband and I got LOST! How on earth does one get lost with a panel full of flight instruments you may ask? Well, very easy apparently!
We had simply developed a case of “Target Fixation”. Basically this means that one focuses on a specific target ahead, and in spite of any information you may have at your disposal, all of it gets ignored in favour of heading towards your point of focus.
In our case, we were initially a mere 4.5km to the left of our true destination. Had we just looked to the right we would have seen the correct pan and even the other planes landing on it. As it was, we ended up more than 30km away!
After flying around for some time over the absolutely barren desert terrain that is typical of the Kalahari, we weighed up the best options available. My husband made the decision to land the plane on a large pan so that we could refuel with the petrol we had on board, and try to make contact with anyone from our group. The last thing we wanted to do was to fly around until we ran out of fuel – or bit each other’s heads off – as that would not have been a happy ending to our little adventure!
In a nutshell, we landed safely, made contact with our team and refuelled. Thanks to modern technology we were even able to send a pin of our location. In no time at all, we were back in the air with a new set of instructions and directions.
While up in the air, we heard that the head event organiser was flying out to “guide us home”. And he did. We were reunited with everyone at the correct pan and able to enjoy the weekend exactly as intended…only with a whole lot more teasing from fellow fly mates.
Upon reflection of our little adventure, God highlighted three points for me.
Lesson 1: Sometimes we can get too fixated on our OWN plans and expectations for our lives. Often, we also develop a case of “target fixation” that we completely miss hearing God and seeing what He has planned for us! God may use circumstances to get us to stop, ground ourselves, refocus and reposition ourselves for HIS plans and purposes.
Lesson 2: In life we need to stay humble. Pride could have prevented us from reaching out and admitting we needed help. God places people in our lives for various reasons and when a helping hand is offered, we need to stay humble and not be too hasty to reject the assistance. We have no idea of the opportunities it may open ahead of us – whether it’s to bless or be blessed.
Lesson 3: Just as the Head Organiser flew to come find us and lead us home, so is God faithful to come and find us when we are lost. In His Word He promises to “leave 99 to come and find us”. (“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? Matt 18:12)
So, if you ever find yourself hurtling in a direction that you know is not right for you, slow down, perhaps even stop, listen to your True Compass and let Him guide you back into His arms and back Home.
Click here to listen to a beautiful song by Jeremy Camp titled: Your Way Yaweh https://youtu.be/KbBc6ad3W2A.
In it he sings: “God of hope, God of peace, You will never leave us, God who loves, God who keeps, You will always lead us home…”