The Genuine Article – Updrafts and Downfalls
Key Bible Verse: Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor. – Proverbs 29:23
When I was 17, the Air Force sent me and 11 other Civil Air Patrol cadets to a program for learning to fly a sailplane (glider). Early in the course, the four instructor pilots placed bets on who would have the first student fly solo. In his haste to win, my instructor jumped out of my glider, early in my training, slammed down the canopy, and signaled the tow plane to take me into the air for my first solo flight.
Knowing I wasn’t ready, I executed each stage of the flight with extreme care. It was a success, and my instructor won the wager.
Later that day, after most of the students had soloed, there was time for one more flight. I quickly jumped into the glider, thinking I was now ready for anything. Initially, the flight went well—I navigated the thermals (rising columns of air) for nearly 45 minutes on a flight that should have lasted only 15.
But in my arrogance, I flew too far from the airfield and became lost and disoriented. Because gliders have no engine, you go down when the thermals disappear. I came down more than a mile from the field and was humiliated by my instructor in front of the entire corps of cadets.
—Steven Scott in The Richest Man Who Ever Lived
My Response: When has pride swelled my head or blurred my vision?
Adapted from The Richest Man Who Ever Lived (WaterBrook, 2006)