What’s the Story Behind the Book?
The book begins with the story of my family. By telling a little of that story, I want you to realize pastors come from families like yours. We aren’t born with a harp in hand or a halo circling our head. We have all the same temptations, accomplishments, failures, and pressure points as you. Many have this idea that doctors have the last word related to medicine, that lawyers understand every detail of the law, or that ministers can help us solve every problem. Neither Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, or Pastor Joel Osteen, has the final answer for every person in every situation.
I wrote this book because I was a minister who realized I didn’t have the last word, especially when faced with the tragedy of losing my daughter, but through my journey, I discovered someone who does. I won’t say that I had a crisis of faith, but I was struggling with many questions related to my faith. I found support in all of the places you would expect, in my commitment and personal relationship with Christ, in God’s word, in prayer, and in the counsel and comfort of my small group, and from friends outside of the church. Many of my Christian friends would say, what more do you need, isn’t that enough? It’s true that my mind was making progress through normal avenues of help for a Christian.
I decided to write the book once I discovered there was a relational component between the physical and mental, and if that is true for me, it may be right for you. Let me explain. For several years, I tried to do what I believed was pleasing to God. I tried to be a considerate and loving husband and father. Also, I endeavored to be a faithful pastor, but I was falling short of reaching my expectations. I was looking for a way, a safety valve that would release me from and to. I needed to be released from four pressure points, 1) family concerns, 2) medical financial debt, 3) the needs of the congregation, and 4) my unresolved questions from my faith. And once I began to make progress from this list of four, I found myself released to a clearer understanding of what God wanted from me while at the same time finding the answer to my question, Where Was God When I Needed Him?
And so without sharing the story here, I will say that Chapter Three, titled “Passion,” is the story of my hang gliding exploits. In this chapter, you will see how my physical sport enabled me to be free to join my body and mind resulting in a spiritual experience. Flying hang gliders became my safety valve. The sport of hang gliding, along with my faith in Christ, has taught me much about faith, hope, discipline, preparation, teamwork, love, and consideration for others. None of these attributes are strangers to my sport. I would like to believe I’m a more responsible person today because of these disciplines, and that I’m better prepared for what comes next.
I wrote the book with the thought; there are many of you I will never know but know that we share some of the same questions and struggles as we seek to find God. I invite you to come fly with me.