It’s taken many years to conquer my fear of flying. And what helped immensely was understanding the real root of that fear.
It was a control thing. Let’s face it, when you’re strapped in the back of long metal tube hurtling through the atmosphere six miles above the earth, you have very little control. You don’t even get to control your seatback and tray table much of the time. The math people will say, “You’re statistically much safer flying than driving.” But math doesn’t give me the feeling of control like a steering wheel does.
My real issue was wanting to be in control. Maybe that’s what’s behind your biggest fears, too.
Having control of things around us is not the problem. The problem is that we THINK we control things that we really don’t. Or we WANT to control things we really don’t.
There’s a better way. And it’s found in the verse we’ve been working on as a church. It’s King Solomon’s wisdom in Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
When we acknowledge God…when we realize that he really IS God, that he’s in complete control of his creation, then we can begin to loosen our death grip on the control wheel of our life. (Which is really like one of those kids’ steering wheels that you attach to their car seat. Because you and I can’t control our lives in a way that we like to think we can.)
This is where you cue the track for “Jesus Take the Wheel.” Because honestly, we can’t control:
- How our friends will act.
- Or how the economy will react.
- Or how the weather will cooperate.
- Or how our genetic makeup will affect our health.
- Or how our new neighbors will turn out.
- Or how our kids will behave on their first date.
- Or how our parents will decline with age.
- Or how the job market will be when we graduate.
But, when we acknowledge God as God, when we lean into him at every point along the way, THEN we can live each day moving along the path that he has for us. Confident in his control of his world. And that confidence helps remove our fear. And it reduces my need to try to control everything and everyone around me.
It sets us free to fly.