Flight or Fright?


Bri Johns – Director of Central Leadership Institute

Can I trust the pilot to fly this plane safely? Who is this guy who gets to have all of the power? Nothing makes me feel more vulnerable than flying.

I know the drill. I hand my life ticket over to the gate agent, stepping into the small metal chamber of stale oxygen. I find my seat (preferably not a middle one) without making eye contact (impossible), listen to the instructions on how to survive a crash (breathe normally?!), and hold my breath and pray as the plane lifts off. It’s in that moment of takeoff that I survey my life and think, “This is the end.” It’s the epitome of feeling powerless. The pilot is in control, while I’m strapped in thousands of miles above the ground. You may think flying is freeing, but all I want in that moment is to keep both feet on solid ground.

Why? What is it about having my feet on the ground that makes me feel safe? It’s false. It’s a false sense of security. The research is clear…

  • The likelihood of dying in a plane crash is 1 in 11 million.
  • You’re more likely to die from food poisoning – 1 in 3 million. Hello, Chipotle! Too soon?
  • You’re more likely to die from falling off a ladder – 1 in 2.3 million.
  • You’re more likely to die falling off a common piece of furniture like a bed or chair – 1 in 2 million. Think about that the next time you nap!
  • You have a 1 in 685,000 chance of drowning in a bath.
  • You have a 1 in 615, 488 chance of dying from a firework.
  • You have a 1 in 136,011 chance of dying by being hit by lightning.

With all of this evidence, why do I not freak out when I climb up a chair to change a light bulb? Perhaps it’s because I have my trust in the wrong things? Or maybe, for some reason, I believe I have power over these elements more than I do with flying. Either way, it’s all a false sense of control and security.

What in your life do you convince yourself is solid ground?

I believe the most difficult part about following Jesus is surrender. My desire to feel secure in things outside of God can become the biggest deterrent to letting Him truly be in control of my life. And He knows exactly what’s best for me and has the power to give those things to me. What I need to do is step out and trust Him.

Jeremiah 17:7-8
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

If you’re scared to let go and fully trust Him with something you’re dealing with right now, you’re in good company. Handing over my kids, my marriage, my finances, my desire for good friends, my future to Him is the scariest thing for me. It should be solid ground.

The only advice I have for you and myself is that we’ve got to just let go. Just like stepping onto a plane, we have to hand over the scary parts of our lives to God and say, “It is well with my soul.” I trust You with it.

The God of this universe wants you and I to grow closer to Him. He promises that if we draw close to Him we will have nothing to fear. We will be like trees planted near streams of water. He will sustain us, even when we don’t understand our circumstances. All we’ve got to do is step out and trust Him.

What is one thing you need to hand over to God and trust Him with? Know that I’m praying for you and myself to trust Him more today.

Flight or Fright?

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About The Author
- Bri Johns has been on staff at Central since 2008. She is currently the Pastor of Central Leadership Institute and oversees Central’s School of Advanced Leadership Training (SALT). Prior to her current role, Bri was a youth pastor at Central and has also pastored at two churches in California leading junior high and high school students. Bri is a regular speaker for Christ in Youth’s MOVE conference, she coaches and trains youth workers, speaks to teen and women’s groups around the nation, blogs, and makes memories with her husband Jake, and two boys, Brody and Deacan. If she had 24 hours to do anything she wanted, she would go to a luxurious spa, ALONE, with a fancy drink, chips and queso, journal, and a book that would tell her to stop stressing out.