On this day 67 years ago, an Air Force pilot making $3,396.00 a year crawled into an experimental jet and risked everything to see if it was possible to fly faster than the speed of sound. More than a few scientists thought it was impossible, that the plane would disintegrate. For little more than the glory of being the first man to chase and capture the “daemon that lived out past Mach 1,” Captain Chuck Yeager pressed through two broken ribs, a buffeting plane, a broken altimeter and the fear of death and the unknown to successfully perform that exorcism.
Each of us reading this is flying through the aether of purpose and destiny at a certain rate of speed. None of us are flying as fast, as high or as well as we could, as we would like. Our jet shakes, something breaks, fear or complacency takes hold – and squeezes the faith, the desire for a better resurrection, out of us. And so we pull back on the throttle… often at the very time when we should be punching the afterburners.
There is a sense in which that is what this life is: a huge proving ground above some cosmic Mojave Desert. And God is watching. Who’s going to keep going after the daemons and defeat them? Who’s going to try – and be willing to pay the price – to fly as fast and as high as they can; to press through envelope of what is possible and then break into the realm of the impossible, into the higher heaven that shimmers just beyond our temporal firmament?
Some thirty, some sixty, some one-hundred fold (Matt. 13:8). And the stars differ from one another in terms of their glory (1 Cor. 15:41).
And here is the real bottom-line, the greatest truth ever told. We have no chance of ever going there – of ever breaking on through to the other side – on our own strength. We have to first be taken up in the air and then dropped from the belly of a B-29 bomber.
And that B-29 is the crucified, resurrected and enthroned Christ.