Will you rise and move forward?

By Tim Bartee - Your pastor speaks

Several years ago I came across this story of a gentleman who always wanted to own his own single engine airplane. After achieving his dream of ownership, one day, he decided to go out for an early-morning flight. It was a very crisp cool morning. As he took off , everything was normal. He was several miles away from the small airport and noticed that his gauges were bouncing up and down, he knew something was wrong.

He radioed back to the dispatcher at the airport and began to explain his problem and told the dispatcher that he was going to descend and turn around and head back to the airport. The dispatcher immediately told him not to turn around but to ascend as high as he possibly could and to maintain that altitude for at least 5 minutes.

The pilot at first disagreed with the dispatcher but reluctantly followed his advice. After ascending and remaining at that altitude for approximately five minutes he noticed that the gauges leveled out. Everything seemed to be fine.

The dispatcher asked him to come back to the airport and said, I’ll meet you on the runway. As he landed he saw the dispatcher on the runway holding a small toolbox in his hand. The dispatcher climbed up into the cockpit and removed a panel and pulled out a large dead rat.

He explained to the pilot that the rat climbed up in the airplane overnight and while he was flying the hoses and wires warmed up and the rat laid down on the cables to get warm. While the rat was laying there he began to gnaw on the wires and hoses causing the gauges to bounce all over the place.

The dispatcher said if you would have turned around and descended you would have never made it back to the airport in time, but by rising to that higher altitude where the oxygen level was so low, the rat could not live.

Often in life we go through some very troubling and difficult times and the first thought we have is to descend and turn back, it’s at that point that we need to ascend, to rise higher and move forward.

The temptation is to not pray more but to pray less.

The temptation is to not increase our devotion to the the Lord but to decrease our devotional time.

The temptation is to not increase our relationship with the Lord but to back off on it.

The temptation is not to move to a higher level of serving in our church but to slack off.

When someone offends us the temptation is to descend and retaliate when we need to rise above the offense and forgive.

It would be nice to be able to go through life without ever having “a rat experience” but unfortunately they will come from time to time. It’s up to you, what will you do, will you turn back and descend or will you rise and move forward?


By Tim Bartee

Your pastor speaks

The writer is the pastor of Northtowne Church of God in Sidney.

The writer is the pastor of Northtowne Church of God in Sidney.