Driving with the Blue Angels

I found myself going down the proverbial social media rabbit hole into the world of the Blue Angels. I have always been fascinated by the precision flying of the Air Force’s Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angels. I watched a couple of videos of these pilots putting on their air shows; one was the view from a pilot. I watched as six fighter jets took off in pairs and immediately went into formation. I counted five rearview mirrors mounted around the cockpit. Everyone must know where everyone is at all times, as well as their own speed, altitude and position. These pilots fly their planes upside down and sideways while timing their special effects and arial ballet within yards of each other. It is an amazing display of skill and courage.

It all reminds me of the stress of driving down the Broken Arrow Expressway (posted speed limit 60 mph) just before peak rush-hour traffic and the first crash at 75 or 80 mph. We are quite conscious of driving in Tulsa since we have two young drivers in the family. Deacon turned 16 in May, earning his full driver’s license, and Molly turns 16 this week and expects to have her license in a week or so. They both are certain they are not yet ready for the Blue Angel drivers on the expressways. Driving safely is an adventure in mind-reading. It would be nice if more people used their signal lights properly and turned them off occasionally. Distracted drivers are fiddling with their drinks, phones, and faces. They drive too closely even when they are daydreaming, replaying the last argument or just sleep driving. Sleep driving is when you wake up behind the wheel of your car, wondering how you got there when you cannot remember the last few traffic lights. I know you know the feeling. Stress and boredom are a dangerous combination.

The first recorded rush-hour traffic jam is found in Nahum 2:4, although there was a major pile-up recorded in Exodus 14. Both are good stories to read to learn of God’s concern and provision for His people. How are you handling the stress these days? The pilots I observed were focused on the details so they could respond with safety and accuracy. While they perform and practice the same things each day, they do not let the routine lead them to distraction.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Drive safely. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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