People on a plane and people on a pew have a lot in common – All are on a journey. Most are satisfied with a predictable experience. We like to say, “It was a nice flight/It was a nice worship service.”
We exit the same way we enter, and we’re happy to return next time.
A few are not content with nice. They long for more. The boy who passed me did. He asked as he entered the plane, “Will they really let me meet the pilot?”
The pilot heard and invited him into the cockpit’s world of controls and gauges. Minutes later he emerged with wide eyes and exclaimed, “Wow I’m so glad to be on this plane”
No one else’s face showed such wonder. The mid-age women carrying beach bags were exuberant and giggled down the aisle. The fellow in the blue suit was cranky. Most were content to be on the plane, to sit and stare and say little. But the boy wanted to see the pilot. He probably wouldn’t say the flight was “nice,” but would show the plastic wings the pilot gave him and say,
“I saw the man up front.”
Enter a church sanctuary and look at the faces. A few are giggly, a couple are cranky but by and large we are content to be there, to sit and look straight ahead, and leave when the service is over. A few, however, seek more. They come with the childlike enthusiasm of the boy. And those few leave, as he did, wide-eyed with the wonder of having stood in the present of the Pilot himself.
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