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Adventures In Flying

I am a flyer. Not a pilot. A flyer. There is a difference. Anyone can learn to pilot a plane—not everyone is a flyer. The former is mechanical, the latter is a feeling where you’re one with the air. Sound new-agey? It will become practical “Behind The Door.” And maybe you become a flyer, if not an airplane flyer at least a flyer in life.

I began flying to get from point “A” to point “B”. My first instructor was a good pilot, (see above), but a poor flyer. His goal was to fly as a commercial pilot. He reached his goal and crashed the plane. Literally. He survived, but it took a long time for him to recover. My second instructor was a flyer, a laid back mid-western man who just liked to be in the air. The day that I soloed we flew around for an hour, and as we landed he said, “Let me out here for a minute.” I thought he needed to go to the bathroom, so I was surprised that as he got out he said, “Take it up.” “Me?!?” “You’re ready to solo.” So with Leon Patillo’s “The Sky Is The Limit,” I began my take-off roll, circled the field and landed a flyer.

You may not have caught the difference between pilot and flyer. You may even wonder what it might have to do with you, since, more than likely, the only flying you do is on a commercial airline. But flying is just a metaphor for a way of living.

I thought I was lost once. It turned out that I wasn’t. And I knew that I wasn’t because I dropped low enough to read the name of the little town on its water tower. After noting that I was indeed where I was supposed to be, I flew on home in those pre-GPS days.

We took off from “Charlie Brown” on the west side of Atlanta. As I began to lift of the door popped open. Not a problem. Flyers fly the plane when things go amiss. I back off the throttle, touched down, the Beautiful Lady opened the door, and shut it fast as I called the tower to say that I was back tracking the runway. A few minutes later we were on our way. Flyers generally surround themselves with people who don’t panic when the door flies open. BTW—The Beautiful Lady likes flying with me, we’ve been on more than a few adventures together.

One of those adventures happened shortly after I began flying. We had flown to Kokomo, Indiana for a speaking engagement, in a rented Cessna. After the service we took off after being assured by FAA weather that it would be clear flying. Three thousand feet off of the ground I found myself in a cloud. Momentary panic. I wasn’t Instrument Rated in those days and was momentarily disoriented. Then I remembered the flyer’s mantra—fly the plane. I dropped the nose in a shallow bank, flew out of the cloud, and saw the runway. We landed to fly home the next day. Flyers know to fly the plane. You think I’m talking about flying, when I’m really talking about life. Fly the plane.

I was flying back from Rhode Island in my Bellanca Super Viking. I filed VFR, (visual flight rules, which means that you have to be able to see where you’re going), but the weather deteriorated quickly. I called flight control and asked from an in-flight Instrument, (you don’t need to see where you’re going), Flight Plan. They gave me the clearance and I had one of the most enjoyable flights of my life, the breaks in the clouds giving the sensation of speed, the fifty knot tail wind pushing my ground speed to two hundred twenty five miles an hour in a single engine plane, and the knowledge that I was being watched over by a higher power, (in this case flight control). A couple of hours later I broke out of the clouds into clear blue skies. Both flight control and I were a little sad when I cancelled the IFR. They said, “Are you sure?” I said, “I’m in severe clear,” and went on my way. Life’s like that. You’re in the clouds, wondering how you’ll make it through, listen to this still small voice, get your clearance, follow the course, and soon break out to blue skies and sunshine.

All of this is precipitated by my upcoming check ride. I haven’t flown for ten years. A few months ago I got my FAA Medical with the intentions of becoming current. A few days ago I was near my old airport, checked in, and arranged the check ride. I’ll pass the check ride—I’m a flyer.

When you join me “Behind The Door” I’ll make all of this talk about metaphorical talk about flying practical. You discover some things that will help you to fly through life even if you never expect to fly an airplane. It will even work for you if you don’t like to fly! Join me “Behind The Door.”

But before you do… Have you sown a seed? There are THREE REASONS that you need to sow a seed… “He that ministereth seed to the sower, both ministereth bread for your food, multiplies your seed sown, and increases the fruits of your righteousness.” TO MAKE THEM PLAIN… 1) The seed you sow helps insure that you will continue to receive this practical, prophetic, prosperity teaching, 2) The seed you sow will be multiplied back to you. Seedtime and harvest is a principle and principle always works. 3) And, sowing where you receive is just the right thing to do. Hit the “SOWING” button now, then join me “Behind The Door.”

Dr. Leon Stutzman

Pastor, Author, Creative Thinker, Problem Solver, More Than A Prophet, Legend, and Icon


Dr. Leon Stutzman has been called all of these things by the people that he has helped. But everyone calls him "Doc."

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