by Ella Corey
Recently I was required to practice three hours of silence and solitude for one of my classes at Biola. This couldn’t have come at a worse time. Life is busy, and because of this I kept putting it off. I definitely did not have three hours to waste by sitting alone in silence. I’m an extravert. I can’t stand spending three minutes by myself; what was I supposed to do with three hours? I also am extremely uncomfortable with silence. I need music playing in the car and I even talk to myself when I’m alone. Regardless, I put aside time to complete the assignment.
The first hour was rough. My mind raced with all of the other things I could be doing. There’s studying, cleaning, reading, sleeping, hanging out with friends, so many things came to my mind, making me anxious and worried. Giving my time to God really freaked me out because it meant giving my control to God. Ideally, know he is God and I can trust him, but this is a scary concept when actually applied to my life.
About a year ago, the day the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing, I boarded a flight in Indonesia to go back home to LA. It was a few hours after we found out about the lost aircraft. Of course, at this point, no one had a clue what had happened. Was it a conspiracy? A terrorist attack? Will more planes be going down? My mind raced as I got on my flight. However, as soon as we took off I fell asleep pretty quickly. I’ve flown a lot ever since I was a kid, so flying doesn’t really worry me as much as it does others. I was fine until about halfway through the flight.
I awoke to several flight attendants with flashlights standing on chairs and looking in an overhead compartment across the aisle. Groggy, I was very confused as to what was going on. A few seconds after my eyes adjusted, our plane hit severe turbulence. Like I said, I fly a lot, and I’ve never experienced a plane this bumpy. The flight attendants were startled beyond belief. They all kneeled in the aisle, holding onto whatever was around them. One of them gripped my seatbelt as she muttered, “This has never happened before. We never hit turbulence without warning.” I was justifiably convinced that the plane was going down, and we were all going to die. I was easily more afraid than I’ve ever been in my entire life.
40 percent of people have some anxieties about flying. This is ironic because every time you step on a plane, you are nineteen times less likely to die than in a car. But for some reason you do not hear of nearly as many panic attacks from people who drive all the time. While the fear of flying can be linked to claustrophobia, crashing, and terror attacks, Al Forgione, PhD says, “the underlying fear in all of these anxieties is loss of control.” We can’t see the pilot, and most of us wouldn’t even know how to save a plane if we were given the opportunity. Therefore, we have no control over whether we fly or crash.
Loss of control is a scary thing. It is so easy to have anxieties about our future when we have no idea what is going to happen. I’m a planner, and I practically have my whole life mapped out the way I want it to go. But the reality is, God probably has a different plan, one better than my own. I need to trust Him and find peace. This peace is evidence of my faith that He is in control of my life.
Two aspects of the Full Armor of God are at stake here: the “shield of faith” and “as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace.” Satan will taunt you with worry. He will try to convince you that you know best. If things do not work out your way, he’ll tell you your future is ruined. “He attacks your purity with lust,” says Pastor Rick Warren, “and he attacks your serenity with worry. Any time you worry, you have opened the door to Satan. You cannot be anxious, or worried, or fearful and, at the same time, be at peace.” Use the shield of faith as your confidence that the Lord your God is in control, and allow this to bring you peace. God was in control of my flight last year, and we made it back to LAX safely. Likewise, He was in control when I gave him my time last week, as I still managed to get all of my work done. Take your shield of faith and your shoes that are ready to announce the Good News of peace, and stand confident and strong in Him.