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Reflection “In Flight”

  • Reflection “In Flight”

I have flown A LOT in my life.  As a daughter of a commercial airline pilot, I have always loved flying because it made me feel close to my dad… it still does in a way.  I walk around airports and airplanes feeling like I have a special “in” to the whole thing. So perhaps it isn’t so strange that when I’m flying is my best reflection and writing time.  I feel like I am on “heightened alert” – not because of security measures – but because to fly is a radical act.  We are being jettisoned through the air at 500+ mph at 35,000 feet or so and unless we feel turbulence, we remain relatively comfortable–unaware of how radical this thing is that we are doing.    Whenever I arrive at an airport, whatever person is picking me up to take me to my hotel usually, without fail, will ask, “How was your flight?”  My favorite answer is, “Uneventful and that’s how I like it!”



Worship is a powerful, radical act with the potential to take us to heights, depths and velocities beyond the way we experience the everydayness of our lives.

It is a place where the ordinary becomes extraordinary.  Where we meet and encounter the presence of the Holy.  Worship is a radical endeavor. We dare to name incredible suffering and then proclaim hope and praise ANYWAY.  Worship is a place where we dare to believe that what we do matters in some way… that prayer works and that lives can be changed.  Where we invoke the name of Jesus and dare to commit our own lives to that kind of radical hospitality.But like that comfortable plane ride, we have so anesthetized, pressurized (or de-pressurized), the worship act that we forget its power, we forget how radical is this journey we have embarked on… and we answer the question, “How was the trip?” with the answer, “Uneventful and that’s the way I like it.”



I mean, when we get on an airplane, at least we expect to land in a different place than where we started!  Too often we do not even expect that we will be moved by our worship (let alone transformed). Perhaps we just go up on the sight-seeing tour as Annie Dillard describes it, “brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute”–taking a nice look around from lofty heights but coming right back down to where we started.



Perhaps we’ve become so afraid of the turbulence that might happen if we really soar, that we don’t even bother to get on the plane.  We take no risks, preferring to trudge along the same ruts weighed down with the baggage we can’t seem to release.



So, worship leaders, are we content to “preside over” the forgettable?  Or shall we see every worship experience as an opportunity to “reside” fully in an unforgettable ride-of-our lives?

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