When Turbulence Hits - Xavier Scruggs

Every day millions of people travel all over the world. Humans need to travel from point A to point B, and oftentimes the quickest way is by plane. There are many means of transportation, but the fastest is undoubtedly by flying. People fly for different reasons too. Some fly for work, some fly for pleasure. Others fly to see family, which could be work or pleasure. 

I have learned over time that there are many aspects of traveling by plane that give people anxiety. This extends anywhere from the crowdedness of airports, to the often time consuming screening and security processes, or the disappointment of canceled and delayed flights. However, despite all the potential headaches, there is one common denominator — everyone needs to depart one place and arrive at another. 

Flying is the one time you as a passenger can’t control any of the factors. You aren’t flying the plane, therefore you aren’t directing which way it moves through the sky. You can’t control the weather conditions or other aspects that may cause turbulence. Personally for me, it’s the turbulence that causes anxiety. I try so hard not to think about it. I try to relax and remember that the plane is not going down, but my stomach still twists itself into knots. I’ve taken more flights than most people could even imagine. Flying from city to city to play baseball games has been a part of my life for longer than I can remember.

Turbulence is also probably the factor I’m most nervous about in my life in general. I can look back on my life and remember a lot of tough situations I have been in. I have played in stadiums filled with thousands of fans for a lot of my professional baseball career, and there have been family situations and uncomfortable altercations with friends, but nothing has brought me the kind of anxiety flying still gives me.

Flying with turbulence is very similar to life. You don’t always know when tough times are going to hit, and often, you can’t control it. You can try to take your mind off of it by distracting yourself with other things, but ultimately you have to deal with it, you have to go through it. People say tough times make you stronger as a person. I’ve learned it’s not really the moments that make you stronger, it’s how you deal with those times. How did you react emotionally, spiritually and physically to those times? Did you learn from your mistakes? Did your mind change for the better? Did you make others around you better? Did you take a step back and remember who is in control?

We all have a pilot that controls the course. Of course we have free will to choose our destinations, layovers, how early/late we get to the airport and how much baggage we take, but once we step foot on that plane, the pilot is in charge. Our safety is in His hands. Let’s not forget or take for granted that we have a marvelous God who is the pilot for our life. He directs our paths and wants us to succeed. No need to be anxious or worried about outside factors or conditions we may not be able to control. 

I guess what I really want to say is, when life’s turbulence hits, stay the course. Be still and remember you are right where you need to be. Not everyone gets to fly like you do. Flying with our Heavenly Father is the ultimate blessing. So what if the winds aren’t always calm! If they were always calm then it would really be time to worry. That means we would sailing through life with no problems and we wouldn’t have opportunities to build and learn and become tougher. I believe He is building us for something greater than this life, and in order to truly grow spiritually, ups and downs are inevitable and must occur. 

Keep flying with God. The sky’s the limit. 

— Xavier Scruggs, first baseman for the Leones de Yucatán of the Mexican League

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