My role with The Leadership Centre Willow Creek Canada requires a fair amount of travel, and it was on one such trip several years ago that God drove home an important leadership lesson that has never left me.
I needed to fly from Kelowna to Regina, and I found out a couple of weeks in advance that instead of Air Canada or Westjet I’d be flown there in a small, private propeller airplane.
I was not happy about this trip. In fact, I was scared silly. This was a small plane; it was like a Volkswagen Beetle with wings. And just the thought of flying in this tiny plane over the Rocky Mountains filled me with dread.
I talked to one fellow who had flown on this plane before. He told me that one of the biggest differences I’d find flying in this plane versus a commercial aircraft is that, when you fly on Air Canada or Westjet over the Rockies, you’ll look down and say, “Oh look…there’s a river…there’s a lake…” But when you fly in this little plane you’ll look down and say, “Oh look, there’s a squirrel”…
But then an interesting thing happened. About a week before I was to leave, I met the plane’s owner who was also the pilot. His name was John, and I discovered that the more I talked with John, and the more I found out about his experience as a pilot, I found that my anxiety about the trip was slipping away.
You see, not only did I now know the pilot, but more importantly I had confidence in the one who was literally in control of my life. And I discovered what a profound difference it makes when the pilot is not some anonymous person who happens to wear a white shirt with wings on the collar, but instead is someone you know, someone you have personally found to be trustworthy.
That experience has helped me enormously when I’m facing a daunting leadership decision or challenge. Because it reminds me that in Christ we have the most trustworthy of “pilots” who is right there with us.
Leaders face decisions and challenges that can easily cause us to feel overwhelmed. But remembering to have confidence that Christ is in control, it changes everything.
How does the reality of Jesus’ trustworthiness impact your leadership?