Fright, horror, panic, trepidation, dread, dismay, distress, aversion, dread, terror, anxiety, fear. Fear is what I felt 15 years ago the night our plane crashed. Fear is caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or is a threat. Sometimes fear is caused by the unknown. Sometimes fear is based on past experiences. We can all think of something that has caused us fear in the past. If being honest, we can think of a fear we have right now.
I have a fear: it’s a fear of flying. I don’t sleep well the night before a flight. When the flight attendants make the safety announcements, I don’t listen regardless how entertaining the airline tries to be. As the plane taxis off, my heart races. Friends joke about my iron grip if we hit any turbulence during the flight.
But you have to face your fears. I have to face my fears. I have flown many times in the past fifteen years. Overall, I feel like I have become a better flier with each flight. I joke that God and I have an agreement, no more plane accidents.
This last summer, I got to experience beautiful Ireland. Our group decided to tour Dublin for the first few days and then we would join a tour meandering through the countryside. I paid for my ticket for the tour and then read the itinerary. Day one, we were flying to the Aran Islands. We were flying on little puddle jumpers. What did I get myself into???
The airport was a one-room building. You weighed your carry-on bag and then yourself. And then the pilot tells you your seat so they can balance the plane. For our flight over to the island, I didn’t even get to sit next to my friends; I was seating next to a stranger. Whose hand would I hold? It was only a seven-minute flight. It was only a seven-minute flight with rain and wind pushing the plane sideways. With my eyes squeezed shut and my fingerprints now seared into the seat, I didn’t see much of the scenery on the way over. We landed, that was all that mattered. It wasn’t really that bad- it was almost similar to the bigger plane rides (just a little bumpier). But I had done it; I stayed in a beautiful bed ‘n breakfast, enjoyed a meal in a pub, heard quaint stories about the local population, and lived a glorious day on this out-of-the-way island.
And on the flight back the next day, I may have taken some pictures of the cliffs and ocean waves.
I could have let the spirit of fear destroy my trip. I could have cancelled out on my friends, I could have missed out on seeing this wonderful country, I could have refused to get on the plane. Psalms 118:6 says, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.” Remember, if God is for us, no one can be against us. We are overcomers! With Him, we can stand strong. He is there! Even on a little puddle jumper flying across the wild Atlantic ocean.