First, let me just say thanks for another great weekend for Temptation. The movie is doing just what I hoped it would do. It is speaking to marriages and relationships all over. Thank you for seeing it in the theaters. It really is changing lives.
Now on to why I'm writing. It's about 6am here. Really quiet. The kind of quiet where even a still small voice can sound like a scream. I was sitting here thinking about the first time I took a flight on a small private jet. Many of you know that I'm an aviation buff. I love planes and flying. That's crazy, seeing as how my passion for it started out as a way to get over my fears. And my first flight was my scariest.
That morning, when I got to the airport, it was cloudy, raining and cold. I told the pilots that I was a nervous flyer and asked how the weather was. He said, "it’s rough down low but great up high." Now I'm looking at the sky, it didn't look so great up high to me. But I said a prayer and got on. We took off. It was so turbulent. I was bouncing all over the place. I sat there thinking, "why would they tell me the weather was fine?"
After about ten minuets of being bounced around I asked the pilots why it was so rough. They told me that it would get better as soon as they were allowed to climb higher. I asked who was holding us at that altitude and they said Air Traffic Control. There were a lot of planes in the area and for our own safety we had to stay at that altitude. I sat down, bouncing around some more, white knuckled and all, until the flight attendant told me that we had just been cleared to climb higher. I felt the plane pitch up and the thrust of those powerful jet engines kick in. We bounced around some more. It seemed to have gotten worse. Visibility through my window was non-existent. I was about to ask them to land and let me off the plane. But then we broke through the clouds. There was the sun and the air was so smooth that it didn't even feel like we were moving.
By now, I'm sure you're wondering, "why am I reading all this?" Well, I’ll tell you. Flying through rough weather is a lot like making it through life. Sometimes there are a lot of dark clouds, a lot of bad moments. So bad that you want to give up or turn around like I wanted to. Sometimes you can't go higher because something or someone is trying to hold you back or you're being held at that altitude for your own safety. Sometimes you’re not ready to go higher. God is protecting you from yourself because he knows that you can’t handle going higher. Sometimes he’s hiding you, preparing you to be ready. (That gave me a million thoughts. I’ll save that for another email). Sometimes it's so dark you can't see which way to go. But just like air traffic control had to give us permission to go higher, this morning I wanted to give you permission to go higher. Climb!! The weather is so much better up there. The sun is shinning bright up higher. Stop living your life so low.
Now it's not going to be easy to get through those clouds. You’re going to have to hold your head up and use all the strength in your soul to get through, but you will. Use prayer as your fuel and go higher. You have just been given permission to climb higher. Fly above it all.