Our dear friend and Cantor, Yehuda Gutwein, shared this very meaningful story with me this morning and I wanted to share it with you.
"Fasten Your Seatbelts"
Years ago, I was enthralled as I listened to a
Rabbi who for several years had faithfully served
the community. His executive responsibilities had
taken him all over this country. As he concluded
his message, he told of one of the most frightening
yet thought-provoking experiences of his life.
He had been on a long flight from one place to
another. The first warning of the approaching
problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed
on - Fasten Your Seat Belts. Then, after a while, a
calm voice said, "We shall not be serving the
beverages at this time as we are expecting a little
turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is
As he looked around the aircraft, it became
obvious that many of the passengers were becoming
apprehensive. Later, the voice of the announcer
said, "We are so sorry that we are unable to serve
the meal at this time. The turbulence is still
ahead of us."
And then the storm broke. The ominous cracks
of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the
engines. Lightning lit up the darkening skies, and
within moments that great plane was like a cork
tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the
airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the
next, it dropped as if it were about to crash.
discomfort and fear of those around him. He said,
"As I looked around the plane, I could see that
nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed.
Some were praying. The future seemed ominous and
many were wondering if they would make it through
Then, I suddenly saw a little girl.
Apparently the storm meant nothing to her! She had
tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat;
she was reading a book and everything within her
small world was calm and orderly.
Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would
read again; then she would straighten her legs, but
worry and fear were not in her world. When the plane
was being buffeted by the terrible storm, when it
lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with
frightening severity, when all the adults were
scared half to death, that marvelous child was
completely composed and unafraid." The Rabbi
could hardly believe his eyes.
It was not surprising therefore, that when the
plane finally reached its destination and all the
passengers were hurrying to disembark, our Rabbi
lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched
for such a long time. Having commented about the
storm and behavior of the plane, he asked why she
had not been afraid.
The child replied, "Cause my Daddy's the
pilot, and he's taking me home."
There are many kinds of storms that buffet us.
Physical, mental, financial, domestic, and many
other storms can easily and quickly darken our skies
and throw our plane spinning out of control. We
have all known such times, and let us be honest and
confess, it is much easier to be at rest when our
feet are on the ground than when we are being tossed about a darkened sky.
Just remember: Our Father is the Pilot. He is in control. He is taking us home.