Monday, August 25, 2008

Freedom Flight

I was flying across the country today, as I have done many times in the last few months, and I had a new experience. I have been bogged down lately by the stresses of work and temptations and my own shortcomings, so my hope was just to watch a good movie, eat some snacks, and forget my worries for a few hours.

First, a nice gentleman sat down next to me and started up a conversation. I am a pretty shy person and don't generally initiate or engage in long conversations with strangers, but it has been my goal lately to try to hold down decent conversations with people and be a little more outgoing. We talked about work and flying and a few other things and it was a pleasant start to the flight.

Next, I chose to watch The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. It was a decent enough movie. Nothing spectacular. I wouldn't have wanted to pay $10 to see it in a theater, but for a free movie on a plane, I can't complain.

After the movie, I only had a about an hour until we landed, so there was no point in starting a another movie. I browsed the music options available. For the last the few weeks I have been listening to the lastest Counting Crows album. I would have to say it is a pretty solid pick. But brand new on this flight was the option to listen to the new Coldplay album, Viva la Vida. I have always been a fan of Coldplay and I heard really good things about this new album, so it was an easy choice for me to make. I touch the screen for the first song to begin, and it's an instrumental piece called Life in Technicolor. It is very calm and relaxing and just makes you melt into your chair.

At the same that the song starts playing, I experience something on the plane that I have either never experienced or never realized that I was experiencing. Always on a plane, I feel like the engines are pushing us through the air. There is always a force behind the action. But all of the sudden, the engines went quiet and plane just glided through the air. We were thousands of feet off the ground, beginning a slow, gentle descent back to the earth, and this soothing Coldplay song was the chorus of our journey.

For a moment, I felt free. I felt empowered. I felt significant. I felt strength. I felt hope. I felt everything that I have been lacking for the last 5 months.

Sometimes in life, we have engines that push us. Some engines can be good. Our parents may push us to be self sufficient. Our teachers may push us to learn more than we think possible (or necessary). We may push ourselves to become more outgoing or more friendly. Other engines can be bad, though. We may have friends that push us to drink or do drugs. We may have temptations that to push us to act on feelings that we know we shouldn't. We may have a coy little engine called doubt, that pushes us to believe that we are not good enough, or strong enough, or worthy enough.

Let me encourage everyone to take a minute and turn off your engines. ALL of them, even the good ones. Take a minute to glide. And while you are gliding, ponder about what engines you want to turn back on. What forces do you want to drive you?

I know this metaphor was a little cheesy, but I hope you get the idea. If anyone takes me up on my advice, let me how it turns out for you.