Health & Wellbeing

Spiritual Matters by Rev Chris Sparks

It’s common-sense to trust the trustworthy

“I had a feeling something was going to happen!” Have you ever said that? Have you ever realised – belatedly – that if you’d followed some subconscious prompting, a sixth sense – you could have averted a bad situation?
Human beings have five senses: smell, taste, sight, hearing and touch. We could also talk about common sense – by which we mean employing a simple and sensible approach to challenges or problems that confront us. But perhaps you’re now recalling the modern-day lament that the problem with common-sense is that it’s no longer very common.
In its simplest form, common-sense could be illustrated by the experience of the wealthy man who employed a well-known architect to design and build a house for himself. It was a masterpiece, much admired by others and enjoyed by its owner. But on one occasion, during a sumptuous dinner-party as a storm unleashed torrential rain, the roof began to leak, and water dripped onto the head of the host. Annoyed, he punched the number of the architect into his speaker phone. “You have built me a beautiful home” he said. “And I’m enjoying it. But right now, at dinner with some friends and distinguished guests, the roof is leaking and water’s dripping onto my head”  The response of the eminent architect amused the guests around the table: “Well, why don’t you move your chair?”

A graphic article, “178 Seconds to Live”, in an issue of the Aviation Safety Digest, made a huge impact upon me as a young pilot. It described how our senses fail us through spatial disorientation when all external visual reference from the cockpit of a light aircraft is lost. This happens when non-instrument-rated pilots inadvertently fly into cloud. With no visible horizon or external reference, our senses begin to feed erroneous information to the brain. The onset of spatial disorientation happens very quickly – and statistically, that pilot has just 178 seconds to live before the aircraft crashes. The problem is that we automatically believe these wrong messages. If we ‘feel’ the aircraft is ascending, we push the nose down – even though the aircraft is still in level flight. Then we ‘feel’ it turning to the left and we compensate by executing a turn to the right. Get it? Now we’re in a heap of trouble. We’re descending and entering a spiral dive towards the ground – blissfully unaware of our plight.
The instrument-trained pilot recognizes these false messages and immediately glues himself to the instrument panel (figuratively speaking of course) and fully trusts the readouts on his instrument panel. This is absolutely vital to his survival! And because I was trained in night-flying, instrument conditions, on one memorable occasion this actually saved my own life!
In the realm of the spiritual, this is also a life-saver! Trusting God implicitly is the way we short-circuit the erroneous messages that our human senses use to mislead us. More than that, God has also given us the gift of a sixth sense that connects us to his spirit, for he’s created us to be spiritual people. And unless we ignore the spiritual and put all our emphasis on our so-called ‘human wisdom’, we can be assured that we are traveling safely in accordance with God’s plan and will. Taking the time to learn, and practice, trusting God with our lives, is simply common-sense!