One day I was driving to have breakfast with a friend @ 5:30AM in the pouring rain. I drove up behind a semi which was throwing oceans of water back on my windshield and I lost all visibility except right off the front-edge of my hood. All I could see through the torrents of rain being handled by my furiously waiving windshield wipers was the front of my hood and the back door of his trailer.
In a split second, my mind reacted in panic to irrationally jerk the steering wheel left and right. I guess it just wanted to DO SOMETHING. But I quickly got self-control and remembered that I had driven the road 100’s of times, and that I just needed to hold ‘er steady and wait for him to get over; and then I could safely and calmly sail on by with no turning required.
After getting by the truck, the Lord led me to reflect on the training that pilots go through to learn to fly by instruments. Most of you have probably heard of the condition called “vertigo” where pilots, when flying through clouds or at night (etc), can have an overwhelming sensation that the plane has gone upside down when it hasn’t; and then while trying to correct the problem by turning it back over, they can crash the plane. To overcome this potential disaster, the pilots are rigorously trained to take their eyes off of the horizon and put them onto their instruments.
The Lord began to teach me that this is what the daily battle to move from reacting by the flesh to responding by the Spirit is like. Our fleshly reactions to most of life’s situations are like my reaction to the lost vision and a pilot’s to vertigo. Getting self-control and transitioning our gaze from earthly/natural things onto The Way, and learning to respond by the spirit are the keys to overcoming in this life.
Also, a very sobering warning that came with this teaching was that our fleshly reactions are designed to kill us. But praise the Lord that His spirit brings forth life.