The Parable of the Pilot

Blue Horizontal Line


On an airplane there was a traveler who became concerned and frightened as the airplane passed through a storm in the night. Outside the windows of the plane the traveler could see only fog and darkness streaked with lightning flashing and loud thundering. Meanwhile the plane lunged up and down from air currents.

The traveler became fearful. He asked the steward if he could see the pilot. The passenger didn't really know why but he felt that would make him feel better. The steward said he would ask the pilot and went on his way. A little later the steward came back. He nodded and told the traveler he might see the pilot for a few minutes. The traveler followed the steward to the front of the airplane where they both vanished behind closed doors.

Inside the cockpit the passenger was introduced to the pilot at the control panel. The pilot was busily flying the plane but he spoke happily and calmly to the traveler. The two talked for a few minutes. Then the steward signaled it was time for the guest in the cockpit to return to his seat. Of course the traveler thanked the pilot and left.

When the traveler got back to his seat, the other passengers asked him so many questions, the traveler finally had to throw up his hands and say: III do not know where and when we are going to land. That is up to the pilot and the weather. I don't know all the answers to things you are asking me. The pilot knows but he couldn't teach it to me in five minutes. Anyway I'm not sure I have a big enough mind to understand if he tried. All I can tell you is there is a skilled and responsible pilot very much in control. He was very kind. I liked him very much."

Because the traveler met the pilot did not mean the traveler understood how the airplane was driven or how it had been built or what the pilot was doing. The traveler did not have the skill, the knowledge or the ability of the pilot. He was not interested in having them. But he had met the pilot.

Now I am a minister of the Gospel and like that passenger, I do not have all the answers. But I have met God. I am sure your ministers or priest or Sunday School teachers have met God in some manner if not precisely as I did. That they have met God does not mean they can tell you all about everything. What they can tell you is they have met God, as the passenger did the pilot, and there is a God who is piloting.

People tend to ask too many nervous questions that can become vexation and a vanity displacing and postponing belief. Not only do you not need to know everything about God and why things are as they are, but you might not be able to understand them if you did. The ways of God are spiritual and different from ours by being much higher, greater and infinite.

But it is important that you know, and that is why I tell you, that there is a God. As long as you know that, you may believe. As for me, I have met Him. However, not only I have met Him but thousands of saints, believers, ministers, priests, martyrs as well as ordinary believers of many different denominations have had at different times and different ways meetings with God and bear supportive testimony.

Mother Teresa said she was told by God to go to India to aid the poor. Joan Of Arc heard voices to save France. Florence Nightingale said God told her to adopt the calling of a nurse. Peter Marshall was saved from walking over a cliff in Scotland. The Apostle met Christ on the road to Damascus. The numbers go on and on in and after the Bible as well as right now.

I advise you clearly that I do not feel it is necessary for you to have met God to believe, but it is wise to remember there are those famous and not famous in history who have done so. Nor should we forget the vast number of church members and good people whose religious lives now are continually enriched by God's grace in meeting people where they are. Their lives are a testimony that the river of God does not cease from flowing eternally and everywhere. they can all testify there is a God piloting. They do not know everything, but they know God. That there is a God is primary information from reliable sources that can be trusted. The other matters are secondary.


Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.