I’ve written this before, but I am, in truth, more than just a little bit ‘nerdy’. I will happily play a board game, watch an adventure movie, prattle on about Pop culture topics and embrace new tech, apps and gadgets with enthusiasm. Lego is a closet obsession, stickers still make me smile and I will happily listen to a podcast hypothesising the merits of Gandalf vs Obi-Wan.
So in knowing this, perhaps this next story is not to surprising.
In a rare example of a late night for me, I headed to bed well after my normal bed time of 8pm. As I laid down to sleep, I caught the sound of the last flights out of Sydney making their way north to the ‘Goldie’, BrisVegas and ‘FNQ’. Our home on the Central Coast is under the flight path of the northerly directed flights and most of them are still low enough as they pass over us, that we hear the low rumble of their jet engines as they gain altitude after leaving Sydney.
And yes, as you guess from the A380 story from a few weeks ago, I am also a bit of a plane nerd, so my ears are attuned to the sounds of the smaller 717’s heading to the Gold Coast, or the larger 737’s on their way to Brisbane, Townsville and beyond. So my ears pricked up when I heard the unexpected sound of an A330, rumbling overhead. That just was not normal.
The nerd in me kicked into gear. I jumped out of bed, opened my ‘plane radar’ app that shows me what is flying overhead and to my surprise, there was a direct flight to Hawaii flying over home. That never happens. All US bound flights take a very direct route once they leave Sydney airport and are well off the coast by the time they are level with our home. (Fun fact: most weekends I try and spot the first flights out of the US arriving in Sydney as little black dots and white contrails on the horizon as I have a dawn hot drink on our patio. Yep, nerdy in the extreme!)
So, to ensure my curiosity was sated, I raced outside in my PJ’s to look up at the A330 as it slowly turned to the right just as it passed our home and made a ‘beeline’ for the US. As I pondered why on earth this flight was not where it should have been, the night sky lit up with lightning and I could see MASSIVE thunderheads in the distance, well out to sea. And now I knew why the flight went north before it could go east!
My ears noted a change. My ears told me that something was different, that something was not as it regularly was, that something had changed.
Change can often be unexpected. Change can upset the regular flow. Change can often be in the shape of a storm.
The Disciples faced the impact of change in the shape of a storm on the waters of Galilee. One minute all was as it should be, and in my minds eye I imagine that the noise was the first hint of the impending change that they got; when all of a sudden the sound of the wind as it tore across the flat sea told them that things were about to be very different.
But as we know, the change, the storm, whilst confronting, provided a place for Jesus’ divinity, His majesty, His power and His goodness to show up. Change brought opportunity for growth to the Disciples and they once more saw first hand, the power of Heaven.
So, just like me hearing the change of the engine noise told me that something was different in the sky above our home, the sounds of our life can indicate change as well and each of those sounds (relationships, roles, responsibilities, passion projects, hopes, dreams and desires) add up to opportunity for change, development and growth.
We were created to listen, to interpret and respond. We have two ears, which suggests to me we need to listen twice as much as we speak. We have been created to grow, to change and to adapt. We have been made in the image of a limitless God whose desire is to see us be the best version of ourselves that we can be, through Him.
Change need not be something to fear but rather embrace: face the wind and see what opportunity for growth is emerging.
This word of encouragement for Christian educators was written by Dean Bennetts, and distributed in The Bridge newsletter in 2023. Dean is the CEO of Adventist Education in North New South Wales, Australia.