breaking-the-sound-barrier.jpg

Every so often, just the right combination of conditions and events occur to create an unbelievable event – in the case of the picture above, an F/A-18 Hornet passing through the sound barrier.  Not only were the water vapour, density and temperature just right, but there just happened to be a camera in the vicinity to capture the moment.  Navy Ensign John Gay made this phenomenal photograph on July 7, 1999, while aboard the carrier USS Constallation as Navy Lt Ron Candiloro flew by.  The plane is actually in transonic flight, with normal shock waves emanating from behind the canopy and across the wings and fuselage.  The condition will last for only an instant, and once supersonic flow exists completely around the aircraft, sharp-angled sonic cones replace the normal shock waves.

Why do I share this piece of potentially useless information?  No – I haven’t become a plane spotter in my old age…nor have I just completed a degree in quantum physics or engineering.  Instead, I have been struggling with a number of turbluent issues recently in my personal life, spiritual life and working life as well, which have served to put my whole body (physcial, spiritual and mental) under pressure – it sounds dramatic and it probably isn’t as bad as it sounds – there are many many more folks out there who are suffering in unimaginable ways…but these pressures have served to challenge my thinking, increasing my questioning of the everyday circumstances, dragging me down when things are not going the way I had planned, and distracting me from listening to God’s still, small voice of guidance, of direction and of encouragement.

On Monday night this week I had dinner with some of the folks that I am working with in Source2Resource (feel free to check out our website:  www.source2resource.net).  I also had the privilege of meeting some international visitors from South Africa (John and Kathleen Potter) and from the US (Steve and Pauline Goundry).  We had a time of bible study and prayer after the meal, and during this time, John Potter talked about a picture he had in his mind of a jet plane, which was on the verge of breaking the sound barrier.  Once the sound barrier has been broken, the aircraft can glide through the sky at break-neck speed – supersonic flow exists completely around the aircraft.  But up until that barrier is broken, the jet undergoes extreme turbulence, deep deep pressures occur putting extreme strain on the aircraft itself…and there needs to be a coming together of all the right conditions, at the right time, for the sound barrier to be broken through.  The analogy was made with our own lives – pressures, strains, extreme turbulence can get us down…choppy waters can make the journey seem very uncomfortable…but we need to stay strong, forging ahead and looking always to God – His plans, His timing, His leading are perfect…we may not understand what is happening around us…but in due course, and in His perfect will, we will break that sound barrier, we will be pushed on in our spiritual lives to continue the purposes and plans that God has called each of us to do, and our momentary trials and turbulences of life will be nothing compared with the joy and adventure of going supersonic.

A simple analogy…quite a cool picture perhaps…a challenge to me to keep trusting God through the turbulent times at present as my spiritual adventure becomes supersonic.