written 6/15/2021 From somewhere in aerospace over Canada and the USA.
Today aboard an Etihad Boeing 787 (Part of an alliance with United) I was treated to a most unusual mosque visit.
The flight began with an Islamic prayer for travellers. This was accompanied by an image of a mosque complete with dome and minarets.
What followed was the most bizarre guide on how to stay safe in the aircraft. The imagery on the video which was shown in English and then Arabic had no direct reference to an airplane. For example, in a building with modern arabesque features, akin to the inside of the mosque featured in the prayer, one saw oxygen masques suddenly descend from thin air. Along the perimeters of the hallways of the building we saw lighting.
If you clued into the allusion to a huge flying carpet, you would realise that they wanted you to feel safe and comforted in a mysterious and magical Muslim sort of way. If you were new to flying, I’m sure that the whole video would give one rather little idea of how to stay safe in case of emergency.
The avant garde safety video would perhaps make a conservative or fundamentalist Muslim feel safe and uninclined to undercut the safety of the magical flying mosque. However, if some adverse atmospheric or aeronautic event were to occur, the poor Muslims who didn’t know what to do would have little clue how to respond.
So it is with Islam today: a goose has gotten into the engine and there is no sullen captain ensuring that people know the importance of flying properly. A mosque was never meant to soar on wings. So the whole fragile apparatus of Islam shall before the weight of irrelevance to changes in life.
However, faith in the messiah is adequate for the challenges of modernity and postmodernist. Christianity can handle the flights of modern human imagination and creativity and land us safely. Why? Christianity consists not of meeting in four walls, but as every reader of the Bible knows, Those who wait upon the Lord shall mount up with wings as Eagles … not flapping, but soaring high above, unperturbed by landings.
Also, the Christian does not need a safety video in the image of a cathedral. Why? Jesus was quite comfortable sleeping on a boat in a stormy sea and bringing such vessel to safety. Jesus made the tomb his home, what most would consider the most untimely crash landing of all time, and he rearranged geology, physiology, and history to ensure that he could exit in time to meet the third day challenge and still have a day full of busy ministry. Jesus himself went up into the clouds and he shall return, on his schedule, without loss of a single passenger who has sold all he has to buy a ticket to a new heaven and new earth.
This is not an escapist approach to reality though. Those who first mastered the art of flying made astute observations of the world, of birds which God had created to fly and set out to change the history of humanity. And so Orville and Wilbur Wright, the sons of a Christian minister, were encouraged by their father to pursue their dreams and were the first Americans honored with a national monument in their own lifetime.
Has modern aviation been without accident or injury? No. Just as presumptive birds will fly into glass windows or be attached by other birds, or by hungry human hunters; so many modern fliers have become prey of the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life. However, those who monitor their attitude will maintain the proper altitude and land safely at the home base of our Captain and Carrier, Jesus Christ, the one who proclaims from the heights the everlasting gospel of Him who created the skies, the seas and springs, and the landscape, and all things therein and Who can make even an ordinary, yet real, aircraft a vessel which will be used to unite nations, families, and bring blessings to the most remote tribes on earth.
To God be the glory, who rules on high, immortal, invisible and ever wise and loving to those He carries in His tender mercies.
But woe to those who would try to make Him come to earth on their time or schedule!!