Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guest Post: Steve Schaefer

Steve Schaefer provided a great guest post for my blog today. Be sure and check out my review of his book Living In The Overlap.

A few years ago my friends from Ukraine, Lena and Igor, took their family on a vacation to Switzerland. As they were sitting on the plane, waiting for it to take off, their three-year-old son Samuel noticed a button on the back of the seat in front of him. (They don’t remember what the button was for. It probably had something to do with the table tray that folds down.)
If I push that button, what will happen? Samuel wondered. So he pushed the button. And immediately the plane started rolling down the runway.
“I just made the plane move!” he exclaimed.
“No you didn’t,” replied his five-year-old brother Daniel. “There’s a pilot up front who made the plane move.”
“No,” Samuel insisted. “I made the plane move.”
Afterward, Lena remarked, “I wonder how often we assume that our ‘button pushing’ has accomplished certain things that were actually done by our Unseen Pilot.”
I confess it’s sometimes easy for me to overlook the presence—and blessings—of the unseen pilot I’ve entrusted my life to. It’s easy to assume that the roof over my head and the food on my table are the product of my labor, or that my friendships are the product of my irresistible charm. (Okay, maybe that last one is a stretch.) But I need to sometimes remind myself that I am just a branch who receives everything from the vine I’m attached to.
“Apart from me you can do nothing,” Jesus tells us (John 15:5). As C. S. Lewis explains, we are like a child who asks his father for a sixpence so he can buy the father a birthday present. The father is glad to do so, but only an idiot would think he’s gained a sixpence from the transaction.
“Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already,” Lewis says. (Mere Christianity, book 3, chapter 11)
Do you ever struggle with acknowledging your Unseen Pilot? What advice would you give to those who are wrestling with this?

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