Friday, May 2, 2014

Peace in Unexpected Places

"being caused to fly swiftly"
Daniel 9:21

So I just finished a reading a very interesting book about World War II, that my father lent to me.  Now, there are a whole lotta books out there about WWII, but this one had an interesting slant.  It was about industry, and how companies and CEOs mobilized and worked to build what America and the Allied forces needed to fight.  It was called Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, and it was written by Arthur Herman.

The two "heroes" of the book are William Knudsen, and Henry Kaiser.  Knudsen was an auto industry magnate who was named by FDR as the Chairman of the Office of (War) Production Management.  Kaiser was the father of Kaiser Aluminum, Kaiser Steel, and Kaiser Permanente, and became known as "the father of American shipbuilding".  These two men were responsible for the successful manufacture of ships and planes, in massive, staggering quantities, in a very short time.

Kaiser (photo credit: wikipedia)
Knudsen (photo credit: wikipedia)

So there's a bit of a history lesson for you.

But as the saying goes, I told you all that so I could tell you this:  There is an account in the book, I think of a B-29.  Now, I might get these technical details wrong, but as I understand it, the B-29 has separate compartments (cockpit, middle, rear) to maintain pressure, because the plane was too big to maintain proper pressure throughout.  Each compartment is sealed by a plastic barrier called a "blister".

{I'm really sorry if I'm making a confusing mush out of all this.  
My father's probably rolling his eyes at me....}

Anyhow, one day, when the plane was on a test flight at 30,000 feet, one of these "blisters" popped, and blew its way out of the plane, taking with it everything in its path, including an airman.  The book said, "The boy was sent flying through the aperture, along with his guns, his equipment, and just about everything that wasn't strapped down." 

Knudsen met with the airman, and asked him about the experience.  He said, "It was like an elephant kicking me in the pants, sir."  Knudsen replied, "So what did you do?"  The boy answered, "I found myself up there without any airplane, and just pulled my cord."

I just loved the simplicity of his answer.  There was no way he could have anticipated being catapulted out of his airplane like that, but he was a soldier, and he was prepared for anything.  It didn't matter how ended up where he was; he knew what to do.

There's a great lesson for all of us here.  About shock and pain and fear... and about doing what you know to do.  About difficult days and scary decisions ~ and the role of prayer and praise and worship in our lives.

Some days we just can't anticipate what's ahead.  Fortunately, we don't have to.  We have what we need to respond to any situation we find ourselves in, however surprising.  So don't analyze, don't equivocate, don't hesitate.  You know what to do.  He's right there.

~ "The Lord will rescue me...
and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom" ~
2 Timothy 4:18

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