Sunday Scripture — An Intentional Bump

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

The first year I attended the Iditarod Sled Dog Race Conference for Teachers in Anchorage, Alaska, the first Teacher on the Trail, Finney,  told of an airplane ride she and several of the Iditarod dogs took with the Iditarod Air Force from a remote check-point to Anchorage, Alaska.

Seems the dogs were rather boisterous, and the pilot wished to quiet their howling. Without a word, he pulled the plane’s engine and the airplane dropped like a boulder. (If you’ve ever experienced a turbulent plane ride, you get the idea.)

Finney related how not one peep was heard for the remainder of the flight from any passenger. Four-footed, or two.

For those of us seated in the room the story was rather humorous. We could laugh because we weren’t the ones in that airplane when it dropped altitude flying over the remote frozen expanse of western Alaska.

When I recalled this story, it caused me to think about the times God pulls the engine in our lives, and it feels like the bottom of our world has fallen out from under us. We plunge into a free-fall, auguring in, not knowing when, or if, we will land safely.

And if we do make it through the landing, where will we be, and in what kind of condition?

That Iditarod Pilot needed to get the dogs’ attention during the flight. He needed them to hush up, quit complaining, and trust him to deliver them safely back to Anchorage into the care of those waiting for them.

He knew explaining things to the dogs was useless. He knew he had to do something that would grab their immediate attention…and it appears he knew exactly how to do that.

When you consider it, don’t you believe maybe that’s what God does with us sometimes when he wants to get our attention, get us to quit our complaining, and trust he’ll take care of us and deliver us safely to the other side?

Perhaps, like me, you’ve had the engine pulled many times. Do you think if we quit our howling, sit back and let God be the Pilot in Command, things might go smoother for us?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

 O God my Strength! I will sing your praises, for you are my place of safety. Psalm 59:9 (TLB)

I wish you well.


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Pilot in Command

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

As many of you know, my husband, Pilot, among other things is well…a pilot. He has a license that gives him the authority to take planes up in the air, fly them around, and land them safely.

When he is behind the controls of a plane he is the Pilot in Command (PIC). Sometimes, Pilot may temporarily hand off the controls to someone seated next to him who he believes is capable of handling the plane for a brief period of time.

If there is turbulence, the co-pilot becomes weary, or there is too much air traffic, Pilot will resume control of the plane to ensure safety stating, “My plane” not in an arrogant, “Get your hands off the controls” tone, but in an “I’ve got this” manner.

During a recent email exchange with a good friend, he mentioned how during his Air Force days the saying was “God is my co-pilot. So he lets you fly the plane ’til you break or ask for help. Pride stops the call for help.”

I was in the middle of a season of pride stops the call for help when he wrote me this.

Ever been there?

We feel confident we can fly this bird. We know where we’re headed. We’ve filed our flight plan. Checked the weather report. Done the preflight walk around. We’ve kicked the tires and are ready to light the fires. We ARE the Pilot in Command, after all.

So we strap ourselves into the pilot seat and taxi down the runway.

We do fine until the turbulence hits, the plane drops, or is buffeted with a cross wind.  Out of the clouds other planes descend and fill up the sky. Lots of chatter fills the radio and we can hardly think for all the static. We’re desperate. We’re weary. We’re tired of the job.

That’s when we realize there is someone who can handle the plane a whole lot better than we can. God.

We might hesitate, figuring we’d look weak if we gave the controls over too quickly. Maybe the turbulence will calm down. Maybe the other planes will get out of our way. Maybe the static that fills our heads will quiet. Then again…maybe not.

Could it be our pride is responsible for the death grip we hold on the controls? Determined to hang on to the last possible moment rather than admit we can’t do this on our own? Refusing to let God be the Pilot in Command?

So what exactly is PIC?

Under U.S. FAA FAR 91.3, “Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command”, the FAA declares:

  1. The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.
  2. In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.
  3. Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator.

If like me, you’ve strapped God into the co-pilot seat of your life, might I make a suggestion? Scoot over and let him be the PIC. He will do a whole lot better job than we ever could. He’ll raise us up above the turbulence and grease those landings when the flight’s over.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

The Lord himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid. Deuteronomy 31:8 (GNT)

I wish you well.


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One of my posts will appear on Inspire a Fire today, March 3, 2015. Please stop by.