|Fear of Floating?||Index||Home|
know how you feel about flying. I
love it – most of the time, anyway. I
first flew in the 1960’s when, as a “wee boy” I was taken on a trip from
As an adult,
I have been lucky to have a mixture of opportunities to fly.
On the “pleasure” side, there have been flights to go on holiday,
flights in a two-seater plane were the most exciting of all.
To be able to see all round you while flying adds to the thrill.
To see the ground being left behind, clouds above and to each side –
great! It’s funny, but I feel safe
looking straight down from an aircraft in a way that I never would if I was
standing on top of a tall building, or at the edge of a cliff.
Maybe its something to do with being an engineer and assuming that other
professionals have played their part correctly in working out how strong the
various parts of the aircraft structure have to be to stay together in the air. At
the top of a cliff I only have myself to rely on, and sometimes that’s harder.
recent holiday I was able to take part in snorkelling for the first time.
This was on an island which was edged by a coral reef.
The best way to see the coral, the fish and other sea creatures was to
swim out over the reef, looking down. It
struck me while this was going on that this was as close to flying like a bird
that I am ever likely to get. And as
I got to the edge of the reef (no more than five or six feet deep), the coral
fell away and I was suddenly swimming over the darker blue of the Indian Ocean,
maybe 25 or 30 metres deep. Rather
illogically, at first it felt less safe to be swimming over the deeper water
than over the shallower stuff. But
as time went on I realised that it was all the same.
Whether it was deep or shallow, the upward forces allowing me to float
were still there.
We can catch
sight of another aspect of God’s personality if we think of life as being like
experiencing deep and shallow water. We
are most likely to look for God – to support us – when we feel unsafe or
threatened, in danger or “out of our depth”.
And of course he is there. But
he is also there when we feel confident. He
is there when we are happy. He is
there when we happily drift through the shallows of life, just looking at the