I just spent a weekend at a hotel overlooking the busiest airport in the world. Not 200 yards away from my balcony perch, a constant flow of airplanes took off and landed on multiple parallel runways. I marveled at the technology. I marveled at the wonder of the forces that could hold thousands of tons of aluminium, steal, and human cargo in the air. And I wondered at the human controllers, somewhere in the center of it all, that kept so many planes, pilots, and passengers safely navigating such a busy, congested slice of earth.
During the busiest times, there were multiple planes taking off and landing every minute. They were lined up at the terminal. They were lined up on the taxi way. They were lined up for take-off. They were even lined up in the air. Like some giant orchestrated aeronautical square dance, where all the dancers keep moving almost constantly and nobody gets out of step. To do so could mean catastrophic death.
The stress on the pilots must be great. But the air traffic controllers must have absolute nerves of steal. How could anyone want that job? How could a person stand the pressure? Perhaps because it’s not a person. It’s many people. Each controller responsible for just his piece of the ground or sky. Each pilot responsible for one plane. Each tuned to the proper radio frequency. Each talking, listening, directing, and obeying without question or argument. Each doing only the part he is called to do. It’s the only way to keep the stress from becoming debilitating. It’s the only way to keep the passengers safe. It’s the only way to make Atlanta’s gigantic aeronautical square dance function.
I wonder, what miraculous things might we see, if we could apply these principals to our homes, our churches, and our lives?