The Air Force Thunderbirds often take media people or celebs on PR flights in their jets. You likely won’t recognize Gerard Butler in the pic above, taking an in flight selfie. A family friend who has worked with them says it’s 50-50 if the media flyer will puke, so they prep them on how to avoid it, and then share some advice: Puke and Rally. Or, if you feel like it’s gonna happen, grab the bag, fill it, then rally and get back on track. Honestly, I’d give my left arm to fly in one of these jets, and if I puked I’d certainly rally to enjoy the rest of the flight.
And, what a helpful metaphor for the spiritual life. Setbacks and problems and trials will hit us, like the airsickness with many media flyers. Jesus promised, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows” (John 16:33, NLT). We’ve all experienced that personally, and each of the faithful twelve apostles except John were killed for their faith. Sometimes when these troubles hit we get discouraged and quit following--one media flyer couldn’t take the flight and ended it. Other times we continue following, but we don’t extend ourselves, we stay in our comfort zones. We miss a lot of joy and adventure that way. And successes.
Or, we can puke and rally. Get through the pain, and move beyond it. We don’t allow that bad experience to control the rest of our lives. And if we expect them, that will decrease our disappointment and discouragement some. That helps. It doesn’t eliminate the pain and loss, but it helps.
Why rally? A lot of reasons. So we can stay in the game and gain the prize. So we can be used to touch people for Jesus. So we can use the pain to develop our faith, to grow in wisdom in handling setbacks. How do we accomplish this? A simple promise, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4, NIV).
Ironic, isn’t it? When the world hits us and we puke, we rely on Jesus’ presence in us to not let the world win. That gives us more strength, and the next hit isn’t as hard. So, we turn the attacks into an ability to handle the next ones. And trust me, they will come.
Kick Starting the Application
What is your default when encountering tough times? Has following Jesus altered that? If so, how? What has been your biggest difficulty in rallying from obstacles? How can you make progress in dealing with that? Think of a time when you rallied, what helped you get through it? How can you use that in the future?
PS Butler did NOT have to puke and rally. J