By David Coe

Master Facilitator

“Ladies and gentlemen this is your captain, we’ve just lost our starboard engine, I’ve declared a state of emergency. We’ve been cleared to land at Tampa International Airport in about 15 minutes. Be sure your seat belts are buckled. Please follow the instructions of our flight attendants to assume the pre-crash position.”

Those are the words I heard on an early morning flight from Fort Lauderdale, FL, to Tampa Bay, FL.

Obviously -- and thankfully, due to the skills of our pilot and co-pilot -- we landed safely. Otherwise, I most likely would not be writing this today.

Why do I even mention this story?

Because, in my opinion, it is a metaphor for living a life with Christ.

You see, I had no control of what was about to happen on that flight. My fate and the fate of my fellow passengers were in the hands of the expert pilots. They knew the safest route. They knew how to avoid further danger. And they knew how to bring me and my fellow passengers to a safe landing and conclusion of our flight.

I was not the co-pilot. What was required of me was to:

  • simply follow instructions,
  • pray,
  • be obedient, and
  • trust the experts.

While it was not a life and death situation, in the Gospel of John (21:1-6) we can see Peter and the other disciples getting a life lesson in trust.

Peter, an expert fisherman, and the other disciples fish through the night and “catch nothing.” Then Jesus shows up and tells Peter and the others to throw their net on the other side of the boat.

They do exactly what he tells them to do. They drop their net over the side of the boat and “there were so many fish they could not haul it in.”

As this is happening, they recognize who told them to drop their net again – it is Jesus.

In the same way as I and my fellow passengers trusted the pilot, Peter and his fellow disciples trusted Jesus -- with the outcome of their (life’s) work. As a result, they experienced the generosity and life that only Jesus the Good Shepherd can give.

I’ve realized I am not God’s co-pilot.

He is our pilot, the real expert. He knows the best route to take, what side of the boat to cast the net in order to bring us and our fellow passengers, our family and friends, to a safe landing in life -- and into his arms forever.

What we all need to do is listen to him, do what he tells us to do, and “buckle up” for the ride called life.

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