Early one morning in February of 1994, an experienced pilot named James Rich climbed into his small airplane with plans for a short flight to the next state. Little did he know of the near-disaster awaiting him.
James hadn’t slept much the night before, and he was still tired as he sat behind the controls of his private plane. He was planning a 30-minute flight to visit a friend in East Tennessee. As he leveled off at 3,500 feet, James decided to rest his eyes for a quick nap. He set the airplane on auto-pilot, closed his eyes, and fell asleep…
But he dozed for three hours! When suddenly he awoke, he frantically looked down and saw what appeared to be a lake. Then he realized two frightening things. First, he was over an ocean — with no land in sight. And second, his gas gauge was registering empty. As it happens, during his slumber he had flown out over the Gulf of Mexico, and was 85 miles from land and almost out of fuel! Although he crashed into the sea, James Rich was blessed — he was rescued and he survived his ordeal.
What a great reminder to us all to stay spiritually alert each day! It’s so tempting to put our spiritual lives on autopilot. Little prayer. Sporadic Bible study. Casual about our relationship with God.