Yesterday, a routine flight from London (UK) to Dusseldorf (Germany) landed without incident, until the passengers heard the pilot’s voice, “Welcome to Edinburgh.” Scotland?
Yep. They’d landed in the wrong country.
Turns out the company that does data entry for British Airways had typed in the wrong destination. The pilot just flew the route in the aircraft’s computer, without checking it. No one at air traffic control noticed. The passengers were none the wiser, until they found themselves far from where they wanted to be.
Don’t be a passenger in your own life. Ask the tough questions now about where life is headed. If you continue the way you’re going, will you be satisfied when you reach the end? Today is the time to make those intentional decisions that set the course of your life.
Don’t let embarrassment stop you changing your mind and setting a new course. That’s repentance. We expect a pilot to recalibrate along the way, and it’s something we should all do. The Bible even pictures God questioning if he’s on track in how he manages his people (e.g. Genesis 6:6; Exodus 32:14).
Don’t get me wrong. God’s not stuck. If we’re headed the wrong way, it takes longer to get there. Like the generation that came out of Egypt but refused the kingdom conquest, it’s possible to spend our whole lives in a holding pattern, making no progress towards the kingdom. God will restore his world under his government in the long run, but it’s not much fun going round in circles.
That’s why churches need regular recalibration too. The vapour trails of the last 2000 years suggest we haven’t exactly flown a straight line. We can. Jesus has set the heading: our destination is the kingdom of God. We’re headed towards a world released from evil’s oppression, restored under God’s governance, through the rescuer/ruler he has appointed (Jesus Christ our Lord).
So, how are we travelling, church? Are our energies, our budget, our time being spent towards that goal? Are we building a community of people who are the living image of what life under Jesus’ kingship is like? If that’s not our goal, can we turn around, follow our king, be his kingdom?
Can you hear the message from Air Traffic Control? “It’s time! The kingdom of God is arriving. Turn round! Trust the good news!” (Mark 1:15).
Can you hear the urgent message from our Commander-in-chief? “Change course! Heaven’s government is arriving!” (Matthew 4:17).