Lindbergh's attempt captured the imagination of the public like few events in history. Americans waited nervously by their radios, listening for news of the flight. Thirty-four hours after his departure from New York, a frenzied crowd of 150,000 people cheered his landing at Le Bourget Field in Paris.

In a personal account of a crucial moment in his epic journey, Lindbergh wrote about his encounter with a potential storm:

A pillar of clouds block out the stars ahead, spilling over on top like a huge mushroom in the sky. . . . In the seconds that intervene while I approach, I make the mental and physical preparation for blind flying. The body must be informed sternly that the mind will take complete control. The senses must be drafted and lined up in the strictest discipline, while logic replaces instinct as commander. . . . The muscles must obey the mind's decision no matter how wrong it seems to them. If the eyes imagine the flicker of a star below where they think the horizon ought to be, if the ears report the engine's tempo too slow for level flight, if the nerves say the seat back's pressure is increasing (as it does in a climb), the hand and the feet must still be loyal to the order of the mind. It is a terrific strain on the mind also when it turns from long-proven bodily instincts to the cold, mechanical impartiality of needles moving over dials.

Then, using language almost reminiscent of the advice of the apostle Paul, Lindbergh offers a word of warning to those of us who intend to survive physical—and emotional—storms:

If the senses get excited and out of control, the plane will follow them, and that can be fatal. If the senses break rank while everything is going right, it may be impossible, with the plane falling dizzily and needles running wild, to bring them back into line, reinstruct them, and force them to gain control while everything is going wrong. It would be like rallying a panicked army under the fire of an advancing enemy. Like an army under fire, blind flying requires absolute discipline. This must be fully understood before it starts.

In aviation and in Christian leadership, storms are inevitable. Survival is not guaranteed, but it's highly probable for those who are prepared, those who keep their eyes on the instruments and trust the things they know to be true. As Christian leaders, we can trust those truths given to us by the One who called us—who in every way will help us soar.

Your feelings cannot be trusted as the final authority on what the airplane is doing. Your mind is boss. The instruments are your window on reality, and you desperately need to understand the data they provide. . . . Our feelings, indulged without examination, will kill us. - Eric Nolte, commercial pilot, flight instructor, and author

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. - Proverbs 3:5 AMP

Copyright 2010 by Daniel Henderson
Moody Publishers
820 N. LaSalle Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60610