Sermon Illustrations

Pilot's Directions

Henry Gardner was flying me to Asheville, North Carolina, in his Cessna 180. We'd taken off from Victoria, Texas, and stopped in Jackson, Mississippi, to fix a malfunctioning radio. Now we were nearing Asheville only to find that the fog was so thick that the controller wouldn't let us land. "Sorry," he said over the radio, "you'd better head to Greenville."

But we couldn't. We didn't have enough fuel to make it there. "We're going to have to land," Henry insisted. We were granted permission to make an emergency landing. The radio sputtered a few times and he lowered the plane.

"Pull it up!" came the shout. To our horror we saw we were about to land on the interstate! Henry pulled hard on the stick and we barely missed a highway overpass.

"If you listen to me," the voice on the radio said, "I'll show you how to get back in." and then came a series of careful, detailed instructions: "Raise it up." "To your left a little." "Easy, easy." "You're nearing the runway. Let it down--now!"

Suddenly the lights of the runway appeared out of the fog. Never had I seen such a welcome sight. We landed safely. First we thanked God. Then as soon as we could, we went to thank the air traffic controller, who looked at us in bewilderment.

"I don't understand," he said. "I lost contact with you after I told you to make an emergency landing. Your radio sputtered and you were gone."

(Source: Guideposts, His Mysterious Ways, Vol. III, published by Guieposts Associates, Carmel, New York 10512; "Pilot's Directions", by David Moore, pg. 51.)