Sky Pilot

Monday, October 15, 2007
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Romans 12:6a – We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. (NIV)

I was officiating at a funeral of a man who clocked up more than 34,000 hours of flying time. He served in the United States Air Force and the Arizona Air National Guard for thirty-six years, became a commercial pilot for a while, and also served as a test pilot. He was born and brought up in the boonies of East Tennessee, and yet somehow, he managed to become one of the best pilots in America. His gift was flying, which is a wonderful skill for anyone to have.

I wondered what to say or write for the funeral — for I'm terrified of flying, and hate being up in the air. How could I relate to this man, who had spent so much of his life up in the air?

Using the gifts that God has given me, I selected passages from the Scriptures about flying, heights, clouds, and skies, and then wrote a pilot's version of Psalm 23. Here's what I came up with:

    The Lord is my Sky Pilot,
    I will not be afraid.
    He lets me fly over green pastures
    And guides me across many waters,
    As He refreshes my soul.

    He elevates me to the Sun above the clouds,
    Where His name is exalted.

    Even though I fly through times
    Of turbulence and stormy weather,
    I will fear no fall;
    For You are with me,
    Your stick and compass
    They bring me in.

    You prepare a landing for me
    In the presence of adverse conditions.
    You bless my flight with ample fuel
    And my plane flies perfectly.

    Surely good times and joy will follow me
    All the flying hours of my life,
    Then I will fly west and land
    In the Lord's aerodrome forever.

Prayer: Lord, we thank You for the gifts that You bestow upon us. Help us to use them gladly for the sharing of faith, the spreading of the gospel, and the praising of Your name. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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