A Pilot in the Fog

A Pilot in the Fog

In the great Pacific Ocean about twelve hundred  miles southwest of Honolulu there is a small coral reef island called Kingman Reef. When men wanted to find the best way to fly by airplane to New Zealand and Australia, gasoline was taken by ship to King-man Reef. Here the airplane was to land to take on more gasoline. In those days airplanes could not carry as much gasoline as they do now. The ship loaded with extra gasoline was anchored off Kingman Reef waiting for the airplane.

The crew in the airplane took off from Honolulu and headed for Kingman Reef across the largest ocean. As they were coming nearer to Kingman Reef a fog drifted over the ocean. Fog is the greatest danger for airplane pilots. A small island is hard enough to find in clear weather, but in that heavy fog it was very dangerous and almost impossible to find so small an island. The fog lay close to the water and the slightest mistake might crash the airplane. It was impossible to return to Honolulu for there was not enough gasoline in the tank for this.

The captain of the ship and the pilot in the airplane talked to one another by radio. The airplane was now directly over Kingman Reef. But in between was the heavy fog. The pilot did not know at what point to dive through the fog to bring his plane safely on the water.

Then the captain of the ship had a brilliant idea. He sent word to the pilot to keep circling overhead. He had the sailors build a smudge fire in the ship's steam engine. He closed all the drafts until it was filled with a heavy load of smoke. Then he opened the drafts and under pressure sent a column of heavy black smoke into the air. It rose higher and higher through the fog. The pilot seeing the pillar of smoke now knew where the ship was and he brought his plane down safely on the water.

Life is very much like the experience of that airplane pilot. He knew where he wanted to go but the fog prevented him from seeing it. You want to become a person who will do great things in this world. You have your eye on the goal like that pilot, but what is it that you want to be? You cannot see very far ahead. It takes time to get ready, years of study and preparation. Just what shall you study and where will your life count the most for the greatest good? Often we feel that we are going around in a fog like the pilot.

The pilot did not know where to bring the airplane down. We sometimes do not know where to bring our lives down on the sea of life. The pillar of smoke guided the pilot through the fog. There are guides that we must follow. God guides all people who want to be guided. The captain of the ship sent up a pillar of smoke as a guide for the pilot who did not know what to do. We can go to God at any time and when we do not know what to do, He will guide us. He will not send a pillar of smoke. All we have to do is to listen and He will put the answer into our hearts.

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