Monday, November 15, 2010

My Navigator

A week ago, I picked up this book. I’d never heard of it and yet when browsing the shelves of Barnes & Noble looking for something to study, was drawn to the beauty of the cover (yes, I judge books by their covers). I picked it up and, after reading the back and flipping through, decided it could help. See, it’s a retranslation of the Psalms with the goal to celebrate the beauty and truth of the Bible, creating an experience to recapture and reignite hearts and souls for the Lord. The group has translated multiple books in the New Testament, too, but I only saw the Psalms and also felt like it would be ideal given the nature of that book. Side note: this translation is not intended for deep, inductive study; it’s purely meant as another tool to enhance God’s word. The Ecclesia Bible Society used a combination of scholars, poets, artists, and writers to translate the Psalms.

Anyway, yesterday I was reading Psalm 31 and verse 3 particularly jumped out at me. One of the descriptors used to describe God was navigator. I kept reading and re-reading that verse as it says for the sake of God’s name, he is my guide, comfort, and navigator. For the sake of his name he cannot leave me floundering. And the use of navigator stirs in me many more images, thoughts, and understanding that it probably does the average person. Why? Because my dad is a navigator.
For the better part of my dad’s career in the Air Force, he worked as a navigator in the massive plane, the B-52 (also known as the Buff). So, unlike some who may breeze past the word or just think of the goofy kid in the 80s flick Flight of the Navigator, I have a personal connection to the meaning. A navigator is a crucial member of a flight team. They literally navigate the plane from point A to point B but they are also responsible for navigating the bombs. On top of that, my dad is a kind, gentle, yet incredibly strong man.

So I just sat and stared at that verse for a while as I thought about what it meant in terms of describing an aspect of the Lord’s character. Obviously the Lord navigates the path of our lives. But I thought about the other aspect of a navigators job, using radars and such to find, target, and take down enemies from the sky. God doesn’t simply direct our paths, my path, he fights for me. Sometimes I don’t see it as, like the B-52, it can come stealthily, but he does fight. And, although I don’t completely understand heaven and am struggling with aspects of it right now, I know the ultimate fight has already been done. This life will not have a surprise ending, no matter what I may think or feel.

I won’t say I’m without fear, but I am striving to trust my navigator. To know and trust that he is greater than my earthly dad and continuously fights for me, even when I sleep. So today I’ll end with a few pictures of the lovely B-52 (including one from right after my dad’s last flight; yes he’s wet…it’s tradition) interspersed with reminders of how the Lord fights for me.

Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still. Exodus 14:13

Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you. Deuteronomy 3:22

One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised. Joshua 23:10

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you. 2 Chronicles 20:17