My oldest son is a self-proclaimed aviation geek. He lives and breathes anything to do with aviation and has done since he was quite young. The highlight of his fifteen years of life so far has to be his visit to the Boeing Factory just out of Seattle (you can read about that here – it was truly remarkable) when he was ten.
Nat has now reached the age and stage of his ‘hobby’ where he is starting to actually learn how to fly. Not just use a simulator programme, but actually fly a little two seater plane, up high in the sky. Gulp. He’s not old enough to legally be behind the wheel of a car, but he can be learning how to fly a plane. Part of me longs to have him as a toddler with a mop of blonde hair, sitting on my lap as I read ‘The Little Yellow Digger’ to him for the millionth time, and another part of me knows that he is starting to live out his dream. And it is a wonderful thing.
Our future pilot was supposed to have his second trial flight (with the special club he belongs to where pilots sponsor young kids to get them air time) this past weekend, but we woke to fog blanketing our city. So there were no small planes taking off or landing at the club headquarters that day, much to everyone’s temporary disappointment.
The old fog and planes thing – it is an interesting thing. Bigger planes are actually totally ok to fly in thick fog and to land in thick fog. All of the electronic equipment on board makes it a simple process for big planes to do this. The problematic part to fog being present comes in to play when the planes are on the ground, when pilots of any size plane are relying heavily on the view from their plane’s windscreen to avoid collisions with other aircraft and airport vehicles as they taxi. Procedures for low visibility situations call for planes landing at an airport to be separated by six miles rather than the usual three miles. So this is what causes major delays and disruptions when there is fog at airports, much to everyone’s dismay.
Fog – it can make you misjudge distances. You can’t see what is behind you, beside you or in front of you very well at all. Sometimes our own judgement can be clouded by fog of some sort.
Fog – it can be unreliable feelings, disconnected feelings. Sometimes it can be as a result of going through life listening to the soundtrack of negativity and criticism.
Fog – it blocks our view of the sun, even though we know that the sun is there and we know it is going to break through sooner or later.
Fog – in my simple way of thinking is anything that stands in the way of you believing that you are who God says you are, anything that stops you from embracing and taking full flight.
Fog doesn’t actually change what is good and true and right and all around us – the beauty and truth is still there, its just a little harder to see.
I think all of us struggle at some point or another with some element of fog in our lives. But just as planes have got all sorts of fancy equipment to keep them on track, we too have great tools at our disposal to help us deal with the fog that invades our lives. And it is good to remember these things. The word of truth – the bible. The gift of Godly friendship. The ability to worship, to focus on the goodness of God. These all help the fog to dissipate. These gifts help the sun to break through.
Fog tends to isolate us and cause us to feel stranded, not to mention cause major disruptions to normal life – but this is only temporary. The sun does break through and fog does lift. Flights do get postponed and then they do happen. New travel arrangements are made. New travel dates do happen. Life does continue. Hope remains ever steadfast. Fog whether its in our thinking and believing or in the physical, isn’t a permanent state. And that’s worth holding on to. That’s worth remembering.
My aviation son will have another chance to get up high in the sky, in that tiny little plane, another weekend, very soon. And the time not spent up in the air last weekend, was still time spent with friends, like-minded people all as passionate as he is, and he learnt some new lessons to do with flight. It was not wasted.
The fog comes and goes, in the physical and in the flow of our feelings and our beliefs about ourselves and our situations are sometimes hazier than they should be, but it helps to remember that the sun is always shining and sooner or later it will break though. My friend, the fog will lift.