Saying “Yes”

Why do we prefer to do the things we know rather than do the new thing God is calling us to do?

My first assignment on active duty was Loring Air Force Base near Caribou, Maine.

Loring wasn’t the coldest of the bomber bases along the “northern tier” of the US. It wasn’t the most remote. It didn’t have the most snow (just 184 inches a year). But the combination of those factors made it the worst place to live overall.

The mission, nuclear alert during the Cold War, was characterized by hours of boredom punctuated by moments of terror. Nobody wanted to be there, but the base was on the closure list, so headquarters was slow in sending replacement personnel. Assignments lasted five or six years.

One day, after only three years at Loring, I came to work and was surprised to find orders to fly reconnaissance planes out of Omaha. Now I would get to fly around the world. The people there loved the base and the mission. Everyone wondered how I got so lucky. I really didn’t know. Someone had told me recon was a good assignment, so I had put it on my dream sheet.

But then headquarters got serious about closing the base and sent a team to give new assignments to everyone. But guess what? No one asked for recon. Everyone wanted to keep flying bombers, doing the same thing they said they couldn’t stand.

The pattern for my career had been set. Every two or three years, the orders would come, and I would say “yes” to a new adventure. I ended up flying four different planes to my friends’ one. I got promoted two grades higher than most of my friends.

It’s funny, but this is pretty much how a life of faith works. Until you say “yes” to a new adventure, you’ll never know what God has in store.

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