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The Landing Is Important

By Russell McKinney

Mitchell CountyRussell McKinney Mitchell County


A student pilot was doing an excellent job flying the plane during his lesson. Then came the moment when the flight instructor looked over at him and said, “Okay, let’s take it down and land.” The student said, “Sounds good, let’s do it.”

As the plane began to descend, the instructor couldn’t help but notice how calm the student remained. Whereas most trainees instinctively got a little nervous at the thought of bringing the plane in for a landing, this trainee’s facial expression and demeanor didn’t change one bit. The instructor thought to himself, “This guy is going to make a great pilot.”

Not too long afterward, though, the plane hit the runway hard, bounced 50 feet into the air, hit the runway hard again, bounced 25 feet into the air, hit the runway hard again, bounced 5 feet into the air, and finally came to a full stop. The instructor was horrified. Actually, he was just glad to be alive after that awful landing. He looked over at the student and said, “You did just fine flying the plane, but your landing was the worst one I’ve ever seen.” That’s when the student looked at him and said, “MY landing? I thought YOU were handling the landing!”

When you seek God’s will regarding a decision and then do that will, the landing for that decision becomes God’s responsibility. Conversely, when you do your own will regarding a decision, God isn’t responsible for the landing. Unfortunately for God, His reputation has taken many a hit simply because He got blamed for a landing in which He had no part.

So many times we go our own way, do our own thing, and then somewhere in the middle of it all say, “Lord, please bless my efforts as I do Your work.” God must think to Himself, “MY work? Do you really think you are doing MY work here?” The term “rubber stamp a decision” is a metaphor that means that the person who is technically in charge of an operation robotically approves what his underlings think should be done. This approval is evidenced by the person opening his desk drawer, pulling out the custom-made rubber stamp that has his signature embossed on it, and pressing that stamp down onto the official document that sanctions the project. Needless to say, God doesn’t “rubber stamp” anything that isn’t His will.

Right now, whatever decision you are facing, seek God’s will concerning that decision. Even more than just seek it, do it. Then take your hands off the controls and let God bring the decision in for a landing. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that even God’s landings can sometimes get a little rough. Oh, and did I mention that He might not land you where you thought you were going to land? Still, though, the great benefit from doing God’s will and letting Him handle the landing is that when you are finally at “all stop,” you will have the deep-settled inner peace that only comes from doing God’s will. And that, of course, is really the only way to fly.


Russell Mckinney lives in the English Woods area of Spruce Pine and serves as the pastor of Roan Mountain Baptist Church in Bakersville.

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