My wife and I are flying to Kansas tomorrow. She has a job interview; I'm going along for moral support. Up until the last few years, I enjoyed flying. It was adventurous and exotic. Somewhere along the way, however, I turned into a "white-knuckle flyer." (On my last flight, I couldn't stop saying "Hail Marys.") I know that statistically I have more to fear from the car ride to LAX than the flight itself, but emotions don't always behave rationally. Besides, the odds of winning the lottery suck too, but someone wins.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, my fear of flying is a manifestation of much larger fears about a vocation that constantly challenges me to surrender control of my life and trust completely in God's plan. I am called to share a revelation that I cannot make anyone believe, or even read. It's entirely possible that I am only supposed to plant a seed that will never sprout in my lifetime. As I have embraced my vocation more and more in the last few years, all that fear had to go somewhere. What activity demands surrendering control and placing trust in someone you've never met more than air travel?
Fortunately, or unfortunately, I'm not alone in this situation. The reality is that we have far less control over life than we would like to think. We can allow this unpredictability to paralyze us, or we can trust that the chaos does make sense somehow. There is a reason human beings keep coming back to religion.
So tomorrow will be an exercise in trust. But I may say a few "Hail Marys" too!