Beacon of Light

The Move

When I was a tween, my family and I moved one block over from our previous home into a late 1960s split foyer up on a hill. It was situated directly in the landing pattern of what was then Friendship International Airport (now BWI).

I loved this new house!

One of the things that intrigued me most was that, when I stood at the picture window in the living room, I could see the airport beacon across the treetops in the distance. Spinning green, then white, I would pause and look for it nightly. I felt a deep and unexplainable draw.

Eventually, I explored.

Sample Beacon: Morristown, TN Airport

About six years later, when I was nearing high school graduation, my two best friends and I discussed our career plans. Both of them mentioned working as a flight attendant. I had never thought about it, but I listened. (I had been on an airplane only once before.)

All of us applied to various airlines.

The Outcome

One friend was hired by American Airlines and was soon furloughed twice. (It was the beginning of the industry’s deregulation.) She resigned to work a steady job. My other friend interviewed at TWA but didn’t meet their strict height requirement. She moved on to work toward starting a very successful business.

I was interviewed by American Airlines and United Airlines. I passed onto the required physical at United, but I didn’t pass the physical. I had an inner ear infection and didn’t know it. Their company doctor instructed me to go home, get it cleared up and come back.

But I never went back.

When I returned home from that physical, an authority figure close to me expressed her disapproval of me flying. She felt it was unsafe, as hijackings were all too common back then. She suggested I get a nice desk job.

I pondered what she said. But I didn’t pray about it at all (because I didn’t know better at the time). Instead, I considered the circumstances before me: an unpredictable flight schedule that would prevent my attending college, and the emergency landing I had experienced on the DC-10 that flew me to my United interview.

So I took a desk job.

And I hated it, because God did not call or assign me to be there. (I didn’t understand this back then.)

About ten years later, I applied to Piedmont Airlines and was quickly hired. This airline soon became US Airways, then later American Airlines. I worked there for over fifteen years, when God clearly called me out.

Full-Circle Lesson

If I had begun to fly right out of high school, my life would have been better sooner and later in many ways. The advice I was initially given by the authority figure was not wise counsel. It was fear-based, not faith-based. I rationalized my circumstances, where I should have given it all to The Lord in prayer and received His gracious Word on the matter.

I missed the mark, and it costed me more than anyone knows.

God’s gracious plan is to prosper us (Jer 29:11, Jn 10:10). Our plan will always lead to disappointment (Ro 10:11).

God used that airport beacon all those years ago to draw me near to Him in what He called and assigned me to navigate from a young age.

Margaret (R) finally at BWI.

I learned:

  1. Always pray and ask God to reveal HIS callings and assignments to you at the outset.
  2. Be sensitive to Holy Spirit. Follow through with what HE reveals above what others suggest, including those closest to you, no matter what. Even if others mean well, they do not know or understand the fullness of God’s unique vision and plan for you.
  3. When a storm of confusion or opposition presents itself, keep your eyes fixed on the light and stay the course. Your path is lit by the One who is greater. (The enemy of your soul may try to close the door of opportunity, in more ways than one, to detour you off your destiny. Don’t fall for this hoax. Choose to believe God’s truth and grace for you in His plan, and press through His open door based on what He revealed to you at the outset.)
  4. If you miss God’s callings, they remain; but if you don’t step into them in His timing, it will cost you. You will experience limited operations until your visibility improves. It will take time to recover, sometimes years. So quickly confess areas of dis-alignment with God, forgive yourself, ask Him to help you and move forward. His grace will meet your faith to bring it to pass.

We are all tested in choosing God’s way for His glory and our own personal wellbeing.

Pass the test as soon as possible. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress and resources. God will enable you to reach out to others as you go forward.

Sample Beacon: Morristown, TN Airport

Beacon Scriptures

“O LORD, you are my lamp. The LORD lights up my darkness.”  -2 Samuel 22:29 NLT

“Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.”  -Daniel 12:3 NLT

“When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;”  -Job 29:3 KJB

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