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Monday, August 10, 2009


I was at a little gathering today where someone shared briefly on the very first infamous supersonic flight piloted by Chuck Yeager back in 1947. I've always been fascinated by air/space travel so my ears perked up when conversation went supersonic...

60 years ago, the quest to break the sound barrier was a big deal. Several brave test pilots died in the attempt. As planes approached the speed of sound, Mach 1, their control surfaces became useless. The planes shook uncontrollably. Some of them literally disintegrated in midair. Finally, on a cloudless October day in the skies above the California desert, Yeager penetrated the magic barrier — 700 miles an hour at 43,000 feet — and made aviation history.

Play around with that thought for a moment. You're 43,000 feet above where you ate your breakfast and for the next few tense seconds as the cockpit is lurching and pinging, you are not certain if you will draw your next breath. KABOOM!....and then.....silence. Serenity. Peace. God's language.

Metaphorically speaking, aren't the trials and temptations of life sort of like this? When 'life happens' we tend to want to stomp it to death. We wrestle with it, spit on it, control it, yell at it and obsess over it. It rattles us, shakes us, wakes us from sleep and gets up in our face. Our "control surfaces" are useless and our lives are shaking out of control, ready to disintegrate. KABOOM!...and then....silence.

When a jet travels at Mach 1 speeds nowadays, the reverberations are unnoticeable by the occupants of the aircraft. Technology has made it so undramatic that the next paradigm shift will probably be when we breach the light barrier. Ultraviolet Travel? Superluminal Flight? Just guessing. What would happen if someone designed a better "mental aircraft" or supersonic jumpsuit that would allow us to be able to eliminate the shake/rattle & roll of turbulent problem barriers. What if I were to tell you that there is a mental defense against rattling oneself to pieces. It can be found in the divinely directed detour of prayer & pause: the two ingredients most useful for turning things over to God. The simple toil and enlightened freedom of letting go is an adventure worth taking. Just ask anyone who is a student of the many 12-step recovery programs. As the platitudes reveal:

Let go and let God

Came to Believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

Let go or be dragged (one of my personal favorites)

I can't, God can, I think I'll let Him

Let go of the outcome

If you can't turn it over, at least lay it down

I plan, God laughs

THY will be done

There is something blissfully peaceful about that letting go, isn't there? In my estimation, slow is real and boring is very good. Make your own history. Defy your personal physics. There is a deafening, thrilling liberty of silence that can be found at the speed of sound.

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