In my senior year of college, I had a job interview at a church in Tennessee. The pastor flew down in his own plane to fly me to Memphis. It was exciting to drive out to the airport knowing that this was my first opportunity to fly.
His plane was a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza, that looked about the size of my car. Did I mention that the weather was stormy with light rain, distant thunder, and lots of wind? The pastor was jovial and seemed like he had done this before. I casually asked him if he felt that it was safe to take off. He laughed and said, “David, do you see that hole in the sky up there? There’s blue sky in it, and that’s where we are headed.”
Taking off was similar to a nightmare roller coaster ride. The whole plane creaked and groaned as it fought the contrary winds. But the pastor just jabbered about how fun it was to fly. He had gotten his license a few months before but had already flown to Mexico on a missions’ trip. Nope, that did not settle my stomach at all.
Then he mentioned that the Beechcraft Bonanza was the plane of choice for those in the music industry. Recording artists like Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and Jim Reeves all flew this type of airplane. And yes, they had all died in their planes, but not to worry, we were getting close to that hole in the sky.
The good news is that we made it. But since then, I refuse to travel in a single-engine airplane, in a storm, with a newly licensed preacher pilot. And that’s final! But his comments about the “hole in the sky” found a lodging place in my mind.
Research reveals that the Iroquois Native Americans had a legend that taught that life on earth began when a sky-goddess fell to earth through a hole in the sky. Water birds carried her safely to the back of a large turtle where civilization was birthed. Interesting.
Some Eskimos believe that there are many holes in the sky. An old Eskimo proverb says, “Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.” Thought-provoking.
And then there is the “Humming black hole” in our sky that still baffles NASA. It is called “humming” because it hums B-flat at about 57 octaves below middle C at the middle of a standard piano keyboard. Astounding.
However, when my dad preached about the Second Coming of Jesus, he often said, “I’m not looking for a hole in the ground. I’m looking for a hole in the sky” (Acts 1:6-11). One day, Jesus will return, and take us out of this troublesome life to a land that is “high above the earth” (Psalm 103:11).
So, just like that pastor who was headed for the hole in the sky, so am I. What a day that will be when I fly away on my final flight (I Thessalonians 4:13-18). You are welcome to join me.