A potentially dangerous situation in flying is being caught in a spiral.
Now recovering from a spiral is very simple, and depending on the stage, rather easy. A spiral occurs when the aircraft is on a banked descending slope. If the aircraft is allowed to continue unchecked it will continue to gain speed and the slope will continue to tighten.
In theory, it can get to the point where the pilot will be unable to break out of the spiral and thus plunge to disaster. In the simplest scenario, to recover from a spiral the pilot merely needs to level the wings, and reduce the airspeed by returning it to a level flight pattern. If this is the case, what makes a spiral such a concern?
When flying by visual flying rules (VFR), nothing, until you are in a situation where there is no visibility, as when flying in clouds. When there is no visibility, it is nigh impossible to sense your actual attitude (meaning angle of flight).
The eerie part is that you may be level, but your senses tell you that you are banked. Or you are banked, but you feel absolutely certain that you are level. We are told that in such situations, unless corrected, the aircraft will inevitably plunge into a diving spiral.
How does a pilot avoid this? He does so by reading and following the indications of the flight instruments, or flying IFR.
Life is a journey from conception to our final destination. No matter how long the journey, there are obstacles and all kinds of weather. For our journey God has provided a map, a flight plan, all the instruments needed, and the perfect Navigator to make our journey safely to Heaven. The map and the Flight Plan is the Bible.
The navigational instruments are its teachings, especially the Gospel, the 10 commandments including all the Biblical morals, Godly leadership, and of course the Holy Spirit of Jesus as our Navigator. In the storms, in the clouds, and in the darkness of life, we can become disoriented and lose our way if we do not keep to the teachings of the Bible and faith in Jesus. Some of the most prominent clouds of life that cause us to drift into a descending spiral are: idolatry, pride, rebellion, lust, hate, unforgiveness, and unbelief.
Let’s be honest here, as a believer in Jesus we can still struggle with any of these. But if the altimeter, the turn and bank co-ordinator, the air speed indicator, and even the compass are indicating error, it is imperative that you as the pilot conduct the necessary investigation and make the appropriate corrections. If our motives, attitudes, or behavior in any way are contrary to the character of Jesus Christ or contradict the teachings of the Bible, we need to make the necessary corrections.
Furthermore, when flying, if your perspectives and feelings contradict the instruments, you are wrong and the instruments are right. It is the same with life. No matter how certain you are regarding your perspectives and feelings, “let God be true and every man a liar.”
No more than you would disbelieve or tamper with the instruments of your aircraft, should you disbelieve or tamper with the written Word of God.
It is the same for us as individuals and as a society. Now, by comparing your life and our society to the standards of the Bible, are you and are we caught in a spiral?
“A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.” Proverbs 14:16*