One of the worst airline accidents ever, happened in April 1977 in the Canary Islands. At the small airport on the Spanish island of Tenerife, two 747 jets collided, killing hundreds. The main airport at Las Palmas had been closed due to a bombing, causing the Tenerife Airport to be unusually crowded. As a result, the 747 jets had to taxi on the runway rather than on the taxiway.
Due to fog, pilots of the two jumbo jets couldn’t see each other. And, for some unexplainable reason, the Dutch pilot began his takeoff without clearance from the control tower. He believed he was doing the right thing. Unfortunately, he wasn’t. The other jet was in the way and there was nothing he could do to avoid hitting it. The result? 575 people died tragically and unnecessarily.
The person in the control tower has a perspective you can’t possibly have.
At the beginning of the training for every pilot, the same basic lesson is taught: in an air traffic control zone, don’t do what seems best to you — do what the control tower tells you to do. This fundamental rule for pilots is always true, but even more so when visibility is compromised by weather – like fog.
The reason for the rule is very simple and one would think obvious. The person in the control tower has a perspective you can’t possibly have, sees things you can’t possibly see and knows things you can’t possibly know.
Far too often, like pilots, we’re prone to act on our own – without God. The result? Usually disaster. Solomon wisely counsels us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Next time you find yourself fogged in by the circumstances of life, just remember …
… that’s no time to take off.
© 2018. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.