A few years after we moved to this spot of country, I was startled one morning by a low rumbling that, over the next few minutes, grew louder and louder. It seemed to come from above, but could not be a plane, I reasoned, because it was taking so long to pass by. I stepped outside and there, to my amazement, flew the Budweiser blimp, so low over our field I felt like I could hold a conversation with the pilot.
We must be on a regular flight path because we have seen that blimp several times, along with all sorts of planes from props to airliners, and helicopters galore. The military also uses our area for drills of some sort, sometimes in groups and other times a lone pilot putting his jet through the routine loops, leaving a tangled skein of contrails behind. Except for the military planes, they all follow the same southerly course across our field, almost as if there were lane markings in the sky.
I have spent a lot of time sitting on the shaded carport, itself in the deep shade of live oaks, killing time, day after day, waiting to see if this latest surgery has worked, and knowing that even if it has it will only last a couple of years. This disease has a regular flight path, just like all those flying machines that pass over us. The optic nerve in the left eye is now 60% destroyed. Once gone, those nerve endings can never come back. That led me to contemplate the notion of fate or, as theologians call it, predestination.
Despite what the majority say, the Bible does not teach that God has already decided which of us He will save, and is now resting easy in His recliner watching the show He set in motion. But one thing has been predetermined for a couple of thousand years now—the victory has already been won. It is up to me to follow the flight path that my Savior created, that will inevitably lead me to share in His glory. I must not be detoured by this world, either its pleasures or its problems. Either one could lead to a crash landing far short of the goal.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, that are left till the coming of the Lord, shall in no way precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord, 1 Thes 4:15-17