My husband is a pilot. It’s not his job, but his hobby, something he dreamed of since long before I knew him. Our tolerance for risk, however, is not the same. I’d be content to fly in a small plane once in my lifetime, to say, “Wow, what a cool experience. Now I can move on.” To be honest, I’d be happy just dreaming about it, the same way I think sky diving sounds amazing, but maybe too risky for a 40-something mother of six.
But my husband loves to fly. My friends ask how I stand it. They ask if I worry.
Of course I do.
Every time he goes up, my prayers go with him. Even so, I know that may not be enough. There are lots of ways we lose people, many less risky than flying a small plane. But I can’t take away this thing that he loves.
Would he give it up if I asked? Would he have forgone becoming a pilot years ago, if I’d just explained my fears? I don’t know. I like to think our love runs deep enough that he’d make that sacrifice. But it also runs deep enough that I’ll never ask it.
Instead, I fly with him, sharing in something that brings him joy, so we can experience it together. Prayers stream through my mind from the time we leave terra firma until we return, and I have to admit, sometimes I’m still freaked out about the whole idea. But, I’m growing to enjoy it.
I love seeing the clouds scattered around me or blanketing the space below. I love the wrinkled landscape, the patchwork of farmland that covers the earth. I admire the glittering rivers that stretch sinuously across the land like a snake. At night, I marvel at the glimmering lights indicating the presence of a thriving civilization, mirroring the star-dusted sky above. I value the quiet peacefulness of soaring.
So, I’m leaving my fears behind and learning to fly.
How do you feel when you face your fears?
What fears do you still need to conquer?