Just a few years out of high school, I began taking flying lessons in a glider. About thirty minutes from my home was an excellent glider school called Fremont Sky Sailing located in Fremont, California. The school had a fleet of older Schweizer 2-33 gliders used to instruct students and rent to licensed glider pilots. Flying a full-size glider was like sitting in an easy chair thousands of feet up in the sky hearing only the sound of wind passing over the airframe. It is my favorite kind of piloting.
The city of Fremont was also home to a Ford Motor Company assembly plant. Huge buildings housed the assembly lines where a thousand vehicles were produced each day. The buildings were surrounded by acres and acres of asphalt parking lots. One day, after we were towed to altitude by our Piper Cub tow plane I pulled the release knob to free us from the towline. It was a cooler day and very little thermal heat was being generated. We needed those rising thermals to take us to our practice altitude. My instructor taught me a valuable piloting skill that day. He said, “We need to move. See the Ford Motor assembly plant? Head to the parking lot.”
In route to the parking lot, my instructor said on days when no lift is taking place there are always heat thermals rising from the black asphalt of the assembly plant parking lot. The black asphalt attracts the rays of the sun and releases waves of heated air skyward. These columns of rising air are called thermals. Thermals rise like invisible hands, pushing a glider to a higher altitude.
When we arrived, I was told to circle over the parking lot to gain the additional altitude we would need for our training sessions. I will never forget the lesson I learned that day. Later, I would come to understand the importance of that lesson when applied to spiritual matters.
Some of you may have wrongly assumed the decline and decrease you are experiencing is somehow God’s plan. You have made plans for a life of descent, not ascent. This is not about gaining more possessions or acquiring a new level of prestige. It is about rising higher in your experience with God and from that higher place seeing a wider expanse of God’s Kingdom. This is a humble rise to a new altitude. It is a humble rising because once you arrive at a higher place you will know it was the lift of God’s Spirit, not your striving, that brought you there.
You will need to gain a higher altitude in order to learn the next lesson God has planned. It cannot be learned at a lower altitude where disbelief has put a ceiling on revelation. Just as my flight instructor told me to move and fly over the large parking lot, it may be time for you to move. Ask God to show you where the lift of the Spirit is taking place. Change your heading and begin to move in that direction. Make this change and you will gain the altitude required to navigate through the next season of your life.