Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Encountering Life Storms: Lessons from Pilots

Are you going through a difficult time, what we might call a storm in your life? It could be a health diagnosis, a failing relationship, difficulty at work, parenting problems, etc. We all have problems and issues that pop up in life. This is unavoidable. But what isn’t unavoidable is handling the storms with confidence and calm.

Storms are inevitable when you fly as a pilot of an aircraft. My neighbor is a pilot for a major airline. He has been trained specifically on what to do when he encounters storms. Pilots learn the 5 Cs of how to deal with storms. The application to our lives is so helpful that I wanted to share this. A visiting pastor in our church shared this powerful metaphor.

When you encounter a life storm:


1) Calm down–don’t panic or allow fear to drive your decisions or reactions. Staying calm is key to thinking and reacting properly.

2) Check your instruments--you can’t go by feelings. Pilots deal with a condition in which their feeling of up and down isn’t always correct. Thus, they have to rely on their instruments to give them correct information. The same is true for us. Our feelings aren’t the best indicator of how to proceed when storms come. We must check our instruments–prayer and the Word of God.

3) Communicate with the tower--when storms hit, it is imperative to communicate with the tower. The tower can see you on radar and has a better picture of your circumstance than you do. In our case, the tower is God. Stay connected, don’t pull away.


4) Comply with what you are told- Because the tower has a better view of the weather and your aircraft, do what they tell you to do. Don’t go rogue. Listen to instructions and comply. The same is true for the Christian. Instead of listening to all the voices around us, comply with the Word and what God tells you to do.

5) Climb higher–When a storm is really difficult to fly through, the best thing is to climb higher and get above the storm. Worship is our way to go higher. The more we immerse ourselves in the presence of God, the more we can get above the storm and be in a place of peace.

  • Linda Mintle

    Even with no money, you can go for counseling at a community mental health center. Those people know community resources very well and can walk you through what to do step by step. Find one of those counselors. And if you have a Catholic Charities or Child and Family Center, they also provide counseling on a sliding scale–like a dollar a session if you can’t pay. Use these community resources to help you know how to deal with this man. You will need the daily help for your responses.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rita

    I really need someone to talk to! I’ve been married for a little over seven years now for the second time. First husband passed away after 33 and a half years of marriage. This husband is 12 years my junior. It’s like I’m in a time warp or something. Everything started out great, but now he treats me like I’m his aged grandmother. He doesn’t want to be seen with me, says I embarrass him daily. He is extremely mentally and emotionally abusive. I lost my job-got fired-right before Christmas and he has not failed to ream me about that and the lack of money, etc., daily since. I still have not received unemployment. Hear about that daily, also, plus every other failure I’ve committed – even some he “knows” about from my first marriage – how, I have no idea. There is no way of communicating with him. He is THE MAN, I am the lowly woman and I am to OBEY! My nerves cannot take much more. I have no money, no place to go and no family that will take me in (that I would willingly go to). Help! Where do I go from here? I called an Abuse Hot Line the other day and he heard the whole conversation because he records everything!!! Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  • Pingback: Encountering Life Storms: Lessons from Pilots | Dr. Linda Mintle

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