Flying Requires the Right Keys

The airplane had just landed in Chicago from St. Louis Saturday morning. I witnessed a wedding ceremony the day before. Extremely exhausted from the anticipation of their union and the festivities surrounding it, I sat on an airplane waiting to head back to Alabama.

When the aircraft landed in Chicago (my hometown), everyone who’d made it to their destination exited the plane. The flight attendants instructed everyone who was traveling to Atlanta to remain seated as they conducted a headcount and boarded the flight with new passengers. I sat in my seat watching people board as I prepared for the remaining two hours of my travel. Once everyone was seated, a surprising announcement was made by the pilot.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the plane will be airborne as soon as we find the keys.”

Was I the only one who didn’t know that planes operated similar to the ways in which vehicles are started? Yes, an airplane is a vehicle, but because I never inspected the cockpit, I just figured it started a different way. Perhaps with the push of a button.

After about 15 minutes, the pilot announced that the right keys were located and that we were cleared for take off. What was interesting to me about the whole ordeal was that the aircraft had just landed. The previous pilot just used the keys in the cockpit to fly from St. Louis, so why didn’t they work now?

I asked the stewardess about the likelihood of the keys being taken by the former pilot, and she said that the old keys were still there, but something was wrong with them. Meaning, while the keys had just worked 40 minutes prior, they weren’t suitable for the remainder of the flight.

It was then that I realized why so many of us make it halfway through the journey and are unable to continue. So many of us assume that because the keys worked in the last situation then they will surely work now. Sadly, we are mistaken.

See, just because a strategy worked with one relationship doesn’t mean it will work in a new one. Just because your form of communication was successful with one friend, doesn’t mean it is transferrable to another. And, because we aren’t habitual in checking on the movability of our lives, we stagnate or just stay in one place.

Have you recently checked your keys? Have you ensured that you’re still on the right track? Moving?

Having keys that won’t advance your life is like having no keys at all. Your former keys won’t open the door of your future, but in many respects hold you captive to your present, and remind you of your past.

If we’re going to fly from one place to another…If we’re going to embody the will of God for our lives…If we are going to be intentional about the path we take, and the timing in which we get there, then we have to check our keys.

Your spiritual keys, I mean. You need your feet shined with the preparation of peace, the sword of the spirit, the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, and the belt of truth. You must pray and fast. You must take inventory of the things that you’ll need for the journey, and all of this is to ensure that you aren’t late for your arrival in another place.

One thing I learned from my frequent air travels is that if you are late to leave one place, it throws off the order of your final destination. Sometimes the pilot will try to make up for the lost time in the air by increasing speed, but he cannot foresee any turbulence or other issues that may arise once in the air.

The same is true for us. Don’t wait to inspect and account for the necessary tools needed for the journey. Don’t wait until it is time to for takeoff to search for the God of the journey. Instead, prepare yourself and that requires that you become so intimate with Him that you gain the insight (inward sight) for the trip.

While the pilots were in charge of the airplane, they could not move without the keys that unlocked the engine. In the same way, while we are steering our own lives, we cannot get to certain places without God unlocking the doors of opportunity. With this in mind, I ask you,

“DO you have the correct keys for your journey?”