Is that You Lord? A Student Pilot’s Story.

Voice, Microphone, Studio

I boarded a Matatu from Roysambu, just around Lumumba Drive. It did not take me long to notice the WiFi username and the password. “Captain” was the username of the WiFi network. I smiled. I would later notice the scriptures that were plastered on the Zuri Genesis matatu that was pretty decent for a matatu plying this route. No music was playing. The peace we live for in public means. Had this been 2015, I would have been restless on my seat claiming this was another sign that the Lord God almighty or the stars, was showing me what my life would be all about – Aviation & Related – The signs that indeed my dream to fly was not at all a fantasy but an actual destiny. But it is 2021 and my perspective has changed. This sets the stage for the next encounter that I had a few years back.

I am now a born-again Christian. New life in Christ has started. We are almost at the end of our classes at STEP and we are so excited about the upcoming mission visit to the unreached in the Northern part of the country. The classes progressed well this particular day. It was however unusual that all the heads of departments and the other leaders of this program were in the house. I didn’t think much of it until one of the leaders invited me to a fellowship that afternoon. They were to visit one of their members and a fellow brother in Christ who lived at Nyayo Estate. All brother C said was; “You’re going to love it!”

At this point in my journey, I was clueless about a lot of spiritual stuff. I was a baby for real. In most of these conversations, I was just flowing from one speaker to the next nodding to every conversation, every proclamation, every quote, every verse. I was so green that, I couldn’t tell at the point whether whatever was being spoken was true or false, whether it was watered down, or whether it was raw scripture stuff – whether online, by televangelists, or by radio pastors and talk shows, etc. Theology talks aside. At this point, the word theology hadn’t started developing around my circles. Verse after sentence after opinion after verse after argument passed from one person to another. I was impressed. We weren’t even in a forum – official. Some were seated, others were standing it was a normal conversation. The way you would speak about formula one or football or aviation while you have someone in the vicinity who knows nothing about what you’re talking about. So much knowledge flowing around.

On this particular Saturday after the usual banter after class, we all gathered near the chairman’s car ready for our trip to the other side of town. This was going to be exciting. I was enjoying this because one thing I was sure about was the fact that I needed an overhaul of my company. Especially if I wanted to grow spiritually. Keith Moore had screamed enough in my ears about how “of a baby” I was in line with my understanding of scripture. This was a study of the book of Ephesians. I could see them and I wanted to be like them. Only that I couldn’t tell what they had done to be there. Memorizing scripture maybe? We got into the car and while we were almost at the host’s house, I learnt that we were going to an actual pilot’s house!!! This is not the context of the verse below, but you can imagine where at such a young spiritual age, my mind was in reference to this verse and related.

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love

Ephesians 4:15-16 (ESV)

The last time I was this excited was when Captain Koki Mutungi came to 99s flying school. There have been other instances when pilots have made my heart backfire but this one was a new high. “So we even have born again pilots!?” “Wow!” This was going to be an interesting one. My excitement was showing so evidently I am sure I was a double baby at this point. Childish spiritually and childish in the physical sense. That makes sense; right?

So we got into the house – a very beautiful house. No doubt a Pilot’s house. I’m trying to keep my calm here. What’s funny is even with a few flying hours on my log, I still asked veteran pilots “stupid” questions. Like this one time, I asked a British Pilot if he knew one Karlene Petit – story for another day on the aviation side. Her blog really inspired me. Breathing in and calming myself down, I took a seat and waited for my cue to talk. If at all it came. “I wasn’t about to embarrass myself here today“. I was seated in a “King’s” house. I know Jesus is the King but at this point Captain, anonymous here was all the King that mattered at this point. You would think I was coming here for a Kenya Airways interview.

As we settled into the fluffy couches in the lounge, I took one last look at the house, lest I get tempted to scan it like I was here for a criminal investigation. My CV at the time wasn’t as bad either, but I still felt like I was nobody. Ex Airforce, aspiring airline pilot chasing his dream at Wilson, blah blah… I focused on the wonderful people around me. An opening prayer started this forum that moved from 0 to 120 knots in seconds. I was the only new member of this fellowship and after a lot of encouragement (About life in Christ) we embarked on studying the scripture. But I was not there to study the scriptures. All I remember was the joy in that lounge, the food, and the fact that I was in a pilot’s house. Nothing else.

Back to the Zuri Genesis matatu with a WiFi Network username “Captain”. Before I started my walk with Christ, as much as I was a believer in God, most of my trends were borderline superstitious. There was no difference between me and the one who believed that when a leaf fell on his head, the day would be a good one. It is still a mystery that the Lord is working on me every day as to how I ended up on the aviation side of things by myself. When it comes to believing in God, faith has to work from the word of God going outwards. Anything else that doesn’t include God would be false. I look back and realize that even some of the beliefs I may have carried back in the day in many other aspects of life could have been self-generated & false. From spirituality to financial well-being, to career, to marriage… Not knowing what the Lord wants for our lives can lead us to a wild goose chase that actually draws us further from Him, and His glory. Also, not being in constant communication with Him and getting to know His will for our lives can lead us on the wrong path, and all the lights could still be blinking in our favor because our minds want us to believe so. Like on this particular day, I was too excited and busy convincing myself that “The Lord does want me to be a pilot”, so busy that I missed whatever the Lord had for my heart and spirit that day and more importantly in that season. Sad to say, but I cannot remember most of the conversations and discussions that day.

Hearing the voice of God and His direction doesn’t develop in a day. But by faith, it grows and gets better each passing day. The more time we spend in His presence and communing with Him, the better we get at hearing Him and the stronger our instincts grow. Our discernment also gets better in differentiating what is from and of God versus what is not from Him. Also, it may be from God but our methods of acquiring it need to be subject to the leading of the Holy Spirit as well. That is why, this time around, there will be no shortcuts into the perceived glory of aviation, that I carried back then.

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

Isaiah 30:21 ESV.

While this is part of my spiritual teething challenges, I have learnt that as I grow older in Christ, there are still instances that this element manifests itself in more complex forms. Especially when I let my guard down and trust in what I can see more than what the Lord is promising. I will be sharing more on this in relation to my spiritual growth, career, ministry, and marriage as this story develops. You can share your experiences with the voice of God and His direction in the comment section as we build on this topic.

Is that You Lord? A Student Pilot’s Story.

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