Awake, calm, freedom, grace, light within

Are You Living in the Present?

By Josephine H. Carver

Airplane crew surmounted disaster

During a tour of duty when he was in a dangerous situation he found the value of realizing spiritual facts. He was on a plane flying from near Lucerne to Paris. As his twin-engine aircraft flew over the Alps, it came into a weather phenomenon that filled the air with thick icy vapor. Visibility was zero.

The pilot couldn’t maintain an altitude of more than 6,000 feet. Some of the peaks of the Alps rise much higher. Rime ice building up on the wings endangered the flying capacity of the plane. All communication broke down and their navigational instruments became completely inoperative. The four men on the plane panicked. They couldn’t see any possible solution. Disaster seemed absolutely unavoidable.

The crew chief turned to that view of life as now and forever coming from the divine source. Uppermost in his thought was a conviction that he was always independent of time. He saw the present as all right because it is actually in the embrace of the Principle that is God. His thinking became focused exclusively on the now instead of on the threatening future. All fear left him, so much so that the confident look on his face startled the others near him.

As he put it, the plane plugged along for quite a while until it suddenly came out of the icy air into a small valley where there were people and houses and animals a few hundred feet below. Then he said, “We burst out into the Rhone Valley of France. The scene was unbelievably gorgeous.”

They later found out that they had come out of the mountains through the only route they could have come without a crash, substantially off their intended course. When we remember that their visibility was zero and their navigational instruments useless, that verse from Isaiah truly describes what happened. In it God is described as saying: “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: . . . These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them” (Isa. 42:16).

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