Monday, October 11, 2004
The passengers were there, the plane was there, but our plane wasn't taking off that day. It was time, but we were still sitting in the flight lounge, and there weren't many smiles in that flight lounge. Then we finally found out what we were waiting for. Our pilot wasn't there. His earlier flight was delayed and he hadn't landed yet. So, even though we all had to get somewhere, our pilot was flying something else when we needed him.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "No Pilot, No Progress."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from the Old Testament account of the life of a spiritual leader named Eli, and in 1 Samuel 2:12, it says of this man with great responsibility, "Eli's sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord." Later in verse 22 it says, "Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. So he said to them, 'Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. No, my sons; it is not a good report that I hear spreading among the Lord's people.'" And yet, even though he rebuked them, he did nothing to stop them. Later on in verse 34, God comes along and says, "What happens to your two sons will be a sign to you. They will both die on the same day and I will raise up for myself a faithful priest." It's a tragic story.
You've got a successful man whose family fell apart. That's been repeated a lot of times, hasn't it? It's easy to reach the whole world and lose your own. To impress the whole world, but not be a hero to your own family. Apparently, Eli had neglected these boys because they grew up not caring much about what he cared about.
A lot of families have a dad or a mom, but what the kids really need is for the pilot to be there. But he or she is flying somewhere else or something else. Your kids really need Dad. They really need Mom. Mom and Dad can get increasingly consumed, though, by demands outside the home. Dad gets lost in his business - the kids just get lost. Remember the old song, "Cats in the cradle and the silver spoon"? It's about a busy dad, "We'll get together then, son, I know we'll have a good time then." And when his son grows up, his son has no time for him. Oh, dad's busy flying his career or maybe some other outside interest and the family is without a pilot.
Someone else can be president; someone else can be the foreman. There's only one dad, only one husband for that wife. It can happen to a mom, too. Especially if she believes the lie that has destroyed our men's health and our men's relationships over these years - that work is what gives you your worth. That winning and worldly achievement is what gives you worth. That's been killing men for years, and now it's killing too many women. Lots of women are chasing that same success phantom that their men have been deceived by.
That other plane that may be occupying you right now could even be Christian work. You're over-committed. Maybe it's a hobby, maybe it's recreation, but the pilot belongs first at the controls of his or her own plane - the family. Could it be that your mate, could it be that your son or daughter, maybe they're drifting because their pilot is flying something else? Give your family your best, not your leftovers. If you will pilot your family first, God will bless you with friendly skies.