The Pilot Who Couldn't Fly

"He was a pilot for 28 years, yet he never flew a plane." My grandfather served as a channel pilot in Cardiff and had experiences of the dangers and challenges of bringing ships through difficult waters. He even experienced the dangers of war, having narrowly missed death when the ship he was bringing into Barry was bombed by a German plane in 1940. This area of the Bristol Channel is very quiet today and most known for the more recent change to leisure use.

Even though piloting of ships is mentioned in the Bible, the metaphor of Jesus as pilot was made popular in the nineteenth century with poems such as Crossing the Bar by Tennyson and many nautically inspired hymns. Actually, the earliest reference I found to Jesus as pilot was by seventeenth century Puritan, Thomas Watson.

These metaphors tended to focus on the story of Jesus calming the storm - a miracle that showed how Jesus has power over even the might of the sea and the storm. The disciples could only look on in amazement and said among themselves "who is this: even the wind and waves obey him?"

Yet down two millennia generation of Christian people have found that Jesus still has power to change situations that are difficult; even impossible. Trusting and following Jesus isn't some abstract idea about believing something in the hope it may be true, but finding out that we gain a friend who walks with us through life.

And how do I get to find Jesus? He's already come to use. Jesus died so that we may enter into a livelong and eternity long relationship with God. He wants each of us to find forgiveness, life and hope in Jesus and to guide us into his safe harbour. How about it?