A blog i wrote about a month ago, but with all the changes and planning, it got left on the computer… Oops!

As I spent my birthday a few weeks ago flying around Arnhem Land, to get to Gove for our annual MAF conference, I pondered upon the love/hate relationship I have with flying.cropped-p1010590.jpg

Flying around this part of the world is spectacular. Every time I fly somewhere I am in awe of the beauty of God’s creative talents. The beauty and diversity of clouds: grey and intimidating, white and billowy, sheer and wispy. The amazing colours of the sea: aqua, green, deep dark blue. The enormous rivers that twist and turn through the landscape as far as the eye can see. Unexpected tracks and roads leading off to unknown places, I wonder where they begin and end? Occasional flashes of red between the trees as the termite mounds make themselves seen. A huge sink hole appears on the landscape, with water in the bottom and jungly plants growing out from the surrounding cliffs.

So as I fly, what I see usually sets me to singing and praising our amazing Creator. I love flying!P1020178

I love flying because it brings Jason so much joy. I love watching my best friend be challenged, stretched and gain so much satisfaction from what he does. I love that God has brought the dream that Jason has been working towards for so many years to fruition. I love watching him watch Air Crash Investigators and telling the pilots and investigators what to do to solve the problems… and discovering that he is right. I love listening to him yabber on about most things aviation and not having any real clue what it all means, but he is so passionate and interested, it makes my heart glad!DSC_0219

I love flying because it helps people. Flying in Arnhem Land is like driving everywhere else. A plane takes us to see our friends and family, the bank, the supermarket and the swimming pool. It also takes us to the hospital, physio, dentist  or for x rays. Flying from Numbulwar, provides all of these services for our local friends too. It also helps local pastors and evangelists move around between communities. Funerals and ceremonial celebrations can be attended. I love that flying makes a big difference to people’s lives.

But I also hate flying and as we journeyed to Gove I pondered more deeply about why…

Flying for me is a huge exercise in trust, faith and thought control.

As a non-scientific person, the fact that I am suspended thousands of feet above the ground in a small metal cylinder, plays with my mind. It seems wrong and destined to end badly.

As a pilot’s wife, I am well aware of so much of what can go wrong when flying. I have helped Jason learn his emergency procedures so he can respond automatically to fires and engine failures. I have watched episodes of Air Crash Investigation and seen what flying gone wrong really looks like. I have heard Jason and other pilot’s talk about their close calls with bad weather and mechanical problems. Sometimes I think I know too much…

P1020218Flying for me usually involves trying to keep Sam entertained in his car seat for over an hour, when he can’t really hear what I’m saying. Living in Numbulwar, Sam isn’t used to the car seat anymore. He is only in it for very short trips, unless we are down south. So an hour and a bit of sitting still is a big ask for an energetic two year old. A good flight is one where he sleeps from take-off to landing. An ugly flight involves food, toys, books, videos on Daddy’s phone, tears, vomit, and more. I look forward to the day when he will be happy to look out the window or read a book. But we’re not there yet.

So as I pondered all of this yesterday, as I sat in the front with Rachel, while Jason kindly volunteered to entertain Sam, I realised that each flight is a battle of my will. I was reminded of this verse in Philippians 4:8 yesterday as we flew and battled to keep my mind stayed on the beauty outside the window and the glimpse of my Creator it provides, rather than the fears of flying.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Do you have situations that really test your ability to take every thought captive? Where thinking right, true and lovely thoughts is exhausting and just doggedly hard work?