Told as a real story, this is a modern parable:
I was in Alaska doing a lawsuit. We were way out in the Aleutian Islands, getting ready to leave and go back to Anchorage and then home. And I had a ticket in my pocket to get on an airplane.
A pastor came up and he said, “Listen, I can save you money.”
I said, “How’s that?”
He said, “I flew a small airplane up here and I fly a small airplane, and I can take you in my little airplane, and you can save your ticket.”
And this did not sound – I said, “Gee, thank you so very, very much, but I’ve got this ticket. We’ll just make our way on home, me and this other lawyer with me.”
He said, “No, no, no. You gotta do it, you gotta do it.”
And against every better judgement I had, I said, “Okay.”
Well, we went out to the airport. He took us by this little plane and I looked at it, and I thought, “Well, one good thing, it’s shiny.”
Then he walked around it. We got in. He’s on the left front; I’m on the right front; the other lawyer is sitting right behind me, and he started it up. And it started up just fine. Well, we taxied out and I said, “Should we pray?”
He said, “Yeah, that’s a good idea. We normally don’t ”
I said, “Well, this time we’re gonna.” And I’m telling you I prayed five, eight minutes. I prayed a long time. We went and got on the runway. He starts down the runway. The plane lifted off ever so gently, and we started climbing, and it’s wonderful; not a problem in the world. We started climbing and we flew probably three, four minutes, and something happened that will never leave my mind!
The pilot turned to me and he said, “We’re going in the clouds, and I can’t fly in clouds! They make me pass out.” I said, “Clouds make you do WHAT!?” Now, it’s been cloudy all day! And we go right up into the clouds and you can’t see anything. And he looks at me, and his eyes roll back in his head, and he starts mumbling and he passes out! Passed out cold!!
Now I grabbed him and shook him and I said, “Come on, you got to wake up!… so I can kill you!”
Now we’re in the clouds flying along with no pilot, and my friend in the back seat said, “We’re dead, aren’t we?”
I said, “There’s a very good chance of that, yes.”
He said, “What are we gonna do?”
I said, “I don’t know.” But there was a radio right there, and I handed him the microphone and I said, “Start asking for help!”
So he’s in the back seat reaching up and he said, “Hello, hello?” We didn’t know any proper radio etiquette. All we were saying was, “Hello?”
And somebody answered back, “ ‘Hello, hello?’ Don’t you guys know proper radio etiquette?”
I said, “Give it to me!” I said, “Tell — We don’t know nothin’! Tell them, we’re in an airplane with a passed out pilot, and we don’t know how to fly this plane!”
The guy said, “I’m a freighter flying out of Anchorage on the way to Tokyo.” And he said, “You’re telling me you have nobody who can fly that plane with you!?”
I said, “Tell him, that’s correct.”
Now you gotta understand I was sweating bullets! He said, “First thing I’m gonna do is start circling so I don’t lose you, because I’ll fly out of range of your radio, and you won’t have me anymore.” And he said, “I’m gonna get Anchorage Emergency for you, and Anchorage Emergency will be the people that can maybe help you; try to save your lives.”
After about five minutes Anchorage came on and said, “We understand you have a passed out pilot and those of you do not know how to fly that plane.”
And we said, “That’s right.”
They said, “Well, the first thing we gotta do is find you.”
I’ll never forget what this man at Anchorage said. He said, “My job is to get you home safe.” He said, “That’s my job. But,“ he said, “here’s the deal. If you want me to get you home safe, you gotta promise me you’ll obey my voice.” He said, “You can’t see me, but I can see you.” And he said, “If you’re not going to obey my voice, you’re gonna die.”
When you can’t see anything, you have no idea how disoriented you become.
Finally, he said, “Okay, I found you. Now hear me clear.” He said, “You’re four minutes from a mountain.” He said, “You’re gonna crash in that mountain and die. Follow my voice.”
I never said, “I have to follow your voice? Is that reasonable?” You see, I understood without his voice, I had nothing! And do you understand without God’s voice, you have nothing? NOTHING!?
Finally, he got us turned and he said, “I’m freezing all the traffic in the area.” He said, “It’s going to take me an hour and a half to get you to Anchorage, and there’s a lot of weather between you and Anchorage. You’re in for a rough ride.” And he said, “I want you to hear me. I don’t want you to look at what’s going on outside. I don’t want you to pay attention to the storm. Just MY Voice!” He said, “If you start watching the storm, you will die! But I’ll take you through it.”
Now, because they cleared all the traffic, several pilots, those nighttime freighters, those 747s, started talking to us. They said, “We’re praying or you men. You’re gonna make it! But listen to the Voice! That’s the key.” They said, “Trust the VOICE.”
Do you realize your head is full of voices? And everybody in this world wants to talk to you. And everybody wants to be the controlling voice. And God says, ”I want you to be a living sacrifice. I want you to put yourself on the altar and let My VOICE be [the voice you listen to].
Finally we went through the worst of the weather, but there was still more. And then the Voice came back, and he said, “Now, I’m gonna line you up.” He said, “I’m gonna bring you in right down the runway, and at the foot of the runway are some lights, and they’re in the form of a cross.” He said, “Don’t you forget this, The Cross Is The Way Home!”
Finally, he’s bringing us down. We still can’t see anything, and all he kept saying is, “Stay with me.”
“My sheep,” the Bible says, “hear My VOICE and they follow Me.”
Finally, just a couple hundred feet off the ground, we saw the cross. I landed the plane. In fact, I landed it seven times! Finally, it all came to a stop, and the minute we stopped the pilot woke up.
The voice said, “Thanx for listening. I watch them crash and burn all the time because they won’t follow my Voice. They don’t understand I’m the one who can see them even though they can’t see me. But they get the voices in their head and they kill themselves. They self-destruct. Thanx for listening to the Voice.”
Then they put us in a motel room, and about four in the morning, Knock, knock, knock, knock. A knock at my door, and I opened the door and a man was standing there. He said, ”Hello, David.”
I said, “You’re the Voice! You’re the one who got me home!”
He said, “I am.”
Do you understand one day you’re going to stand before Him and say, “YOU were the VOICE! You’re the VOICE that brought…me…Home!”
If you’re not on that altar as a living sacrifice, your head’s full of voices. And then we wonder why kids crash and burn? We wonder why marriages are shattered?
And the Lord is saying, “ I AM the One who [is] the VOICE.”
All I can remember is that Voice saying, “Stay with me… Stay with me… Don’t listen to what’s going on in your head and don’t watch the storm. Stay…with…Me, and I’ll take you through.”
Tonight you have a God who has promised to take you through. A living sacrifice. Holy.
My closing thought: Consider what you are listening for; what noises crowd out the Voice that you need to hear? https://capost2k.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/what-are-you-listening-for/
5 thoughts on “Guest Blog: Dr. David Gibbs: Listen to the Voice. A Modern Parable.”
Wow! I’m going to share this with my friends.
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My husband found this article and read it to me this week. So powerful! Thank you for sharing it!
WOW! WOW! WOW! Maybe one of the most powerful stories I’ve heard in a long time. Such a simple concept but we make it complicated when we don’t follow the VOICE. I know it’s not very articulate but all I got right now is WOW! What a piece. I’ll not be forgetting this one!
Awesome story – with a powerful truth.