The Captain
by Marcy Lytle

We saw an Asian film recently about a true event that involved a harrowing plane malfunction where the pilot had to make it through a storm, severe turbulence, and deal with a cracked windshield that blew out, causing the passengers and crew much fear and angst, as you can imagine!  I found my eyes welling up with tears near the end of the movie, and I’ll tell you why…

The passengers on the plane didn’t know the pilot personally, yet they had to place their trust in his ability to fly the plane.  They really had no choice, although one passenger said to her husband during one of the plane’s rocky moments, “I want to go back home.”  They had all boarded this plane to make it to their destination, but were in no way prepared or anticipated being scared for their lives.

There was a head flight attendant that had to remain calm and portray that calmness to the passengers, as she saw one of her fellow attendants struck down, watched babies and moms cry out, and deal with men that were losing their minds while wind barreled down the aisles and oxygen masks fell in yellow order for each person to place over their mouths to breathe.

We’ve all seen movies of near airplane disasters, and most of them end badly.  However, this pilot was well trained and he had a purpose to carry his passengers to a safe landing, and that he was going to do. 

As I watched, I realized that I DO KNOW the captain that’s piloting the trip I’m taking through life.   I DO KNOW that he is an excellent pilot with a 100% track record; and that he can be trusted, to bring me safely home.  However, just like those people, I am thrown into a panic when turbulence arises.  When something’s broken, when winds are fiercely blowing, and when I’m seeing others fall around me and we all feel as though we cannot breathe very well due to anxiety and fear, I worry that maybe this time we won’t make it.

This grieved my heart, as I realized that it must grieve HIS HEART, that I don’t just sit back and breathe while he flies, and rest while he pilots, and sing while he sails through every dark cloud, above every ominous mountain and at the perfect altitude as he heads toward a perfect landing.  I KNOW that the end of the book says we who know the Captain are going to make a safe landing.

  • Turbulence will happen.

  • Things will break.

  • People will get wounded.

  • Oxygen might be scarce.

  • Storms will brew.

  • Obstacles will rise up.

  • Impossibilities will loom.


But there’s no way the end of our movie is going to a crash landing. 

That pilot in the movie miraculously made it to the ground, against all odds, and not one person was lost.  In fact, as every passenger exited the plane they looked around and began asking, “Where’s the captain?” Of course, he was still inside making sure everyone was accounted for, and his crew was safely out, before he stepped out the door.

The entire flight turned and gave thanks to the captain for saving their lives.  If they’d only KNOWN that the captain was trained and was going to make a safe landing, would they all have ridden a little differently, laid back and rested their heads, gasped but only for a moment at the burst of wind from the outside, and closed their eyes when they saw lightning out their window?

I know the CAPTAIN and I don’t do any of those things, but I too panic constantly at every drop in altitude, scared to death that we’re headed straight down for a crash.

I felt all sorts of emotions during that movie.  He never promised us a smooth ride. In fact, he said there would be trials and tribulation, but he did say to be of good cheer in the middle of them. None of the passengers knew the captain, so they worried and feared.  I do know the CAPTAIN and I still worry and fear, and that concerns me.  It makes me sad, and it makes me want to say I’m sorry.

There is no crash landing on the trip on which I’m on, only a safe landing.  I may not like the fact that some will reach that landing before others, that pain may be involved from the broken windows and glass shards, and that dark, dark clouds will be something we have to pass through, but we’re not going down.  There’s absolutely nothing that can separate us from the ONE behind the controls, when we are sitting behind him, observing the instructions he’s given us for a safe flight.

I’m working on that better flight experience where nothing fazes me, sudden drops don’t move me, and storm clouds only make me sleep more soundly.

All because I know the CAPTAIN and better yet…the CAPTAIN KNOWS ME.

3 Stressors
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