I was on a deployment for training at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage a number of years ago. I thought it would be interesting to get with 2 or 3 of my buddies, and rent a plane to go sightseeing. I went to the General Aviation office. I told them I was a licensed pilot, and that I wanted to rent a plane. A flight instructor told me that the plane was $130 dollars an hour and the flight instructor was $150 an hour. I guess I didn’t make myself clear. He went on to tell me that when flying it’s the pilots responsibility to avoid eagles. The eagles own the sky, and will not get out of your way. That’s a great tip…btw I would like to rent the plane to sightsee. He said, “Ok the plane is $150 an hour……” I began to get the point. He said he would fly right seat. I could take off, take instructions on where to go, and land the plane. “I’ll just be here in the event of an emergency”. I was pilot in command/left seat. We were enjoying the spectacular views when an eagle flew under the left wing of the high wing Cessna. Who gets to see that sort of thing?

I find life is a bit like this. We want to be in charge. Famous last words, “I got this.” Someone once told me that we are getting ready to go into a valley, or we are coming out of one. 'Humanning' can be difficult. We are never promised that life will be easy. We will go through hard times. We will have devastating failures, devastating losses. God never says we won’t, but he does promise that he will be there in the left seat, “Just in the event of an emergency.”

John Randall is an intern at Samaritan Counseling Center. He is a Lamar University graduate. His career consist of being an Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter at Jack Brooks Regional Airport for 20 years. He was the Fire Chief at the airport until becoming Director of the Fire Academy at Lamar Institute of Technology in 2014. He is also 33-year veteran of the Army and Texas Air National Guard. As this portion of his career comes to an end, he is studying Clinical Mental Health at Lamar. The plan is to become a Licensed Professional Counselor, and concentrate on the Mental Health of at risk youth, first responders, and veterans. In his free time he spends time in his art studio, chasing grandkids, and an occasional round of golf. John is supervised by Barbara Courville, MBA, LPC-S.

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