Tuesday, March 27, 2007


People on a plane and people on a pew have a lot in common:

All are on a journey. Most are well-behaved and presentable. Some
doze, and others gaze out the window. For many, the mark of a good
flight and the mark of a good worship assembly are the same. “Nice,”
we like to say. “It was a nice flight" or "It was a nice worship service.”

A few, however, are not content with nice. They long for something
more. The boy who just passed me did. I heard him before I saw him. I
was already in my seat when he asked, “Will they really let me meet
the pilot?” The question floated into the cockpit, causing the pilot
to lean out.

“Well, come on in.”

With a nod from his mom, the youngster entered the cockpit’s world of
controls and gauges and emerged minutes later with eyes wide. “Wow!”
he exclaimed. “I’m so glad to be on this plane!”

No one else’s face showed such wonder. I studied the faces of the
other passengers but found no such enthusiasm. I mostly saw
contentment: travelers content to be on the plane, content to be
closer to their destination, content to be out of the airport,
content to sit and stare and say little.

Do you see why I say that people on a plane and people on a pew have
a lot in common? Enter a church sanctuary and look at the faces.
Content to be there. Content to sit and look straight ahead and leave
when the service is over. “Seek and you will find,” Jesus promised
(Matt. 7:7). And since a nice service is what we seek, a nice service
is usually what we find.

A few, however, seek more. A few 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 presence of the pilot himself.

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