Test pilots have a litmus test for evaluating problems. When something goes wrong, they ask, “Is this thing still flying?” If the answer is yes, then there’s no immediate danger and no need to overreact.

When Apollo 12 took off, the spacecraft was hit by lightning. The entire console began to glow with orange and red trouble lights. There was a temptation to do something. But the pilots asked themselves, “Is this thing still flying in the right direction?” The answer was yes—it was headed for the moon. They let the lights glow as they addressed the individual problems, and watched orange and red lights blink out, one by one. 

That’s something to think about in any pressure situation. If the thing is still flying, think first, and then act. Proverbs 16:32 states, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”

Are you facing a pressure problem and being tempted to act before you pray about your decision? Maybe one of your employees keeps trying to make you mad. Although so far you haven’t blown up at him, you fear that if he makes you angry one more time, you might just lose it. Perhaps your children are in need of your loving intervention in their lives. Heed this warning. Stay aware of what God would want you to do. Spend time in prayer and Bible study before you overreact and make the wrong decision.

You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. – Margaret Thatcher

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder