LET’S COME UP HIGHER!
Terry Casales - June 3, 2020
The Lord brought to remembrance the United States Air Force fighting song, “Up we go into the wild blue yonder.”
The Blue Angels
It made me think of the Blue Angels - the arial acrobatic team of the United State Navy and the United States Marine Corps.
In 1946, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Chester Nimitz, had a vision to create a flight exhibition team in order to raise the public's interest in naval aviation and boost Navy morale.
A total of 16 officers voluntarily serve with the Blue Angels. Each year the team typically selects three tactical (fighter or fighter/attack) jet pilots, two support officers and one Marine Corps C-130 pilot to relieve departing members.
The Chief of Naval Air Training selects the "Boss," the Blue Angels Commanding Officer. Boss must have at least 3,000 tactical jet flight-hours and have commanded a tactical jet squadron. The Commanding Officer flies the Number 1 jet. The Chief of Naval Air Training also selects the "XO," the Blue Angels Executive Officer. XO is a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) and must have at least 1,250 tactical jet flight-hours.
Career-oriented Navy and Marine Corps jet pilots with an aircraft carrier qualification and a minimum of 1,250 tactical jet flight-hours are eligible for positions flying jets Number 2 through 7. The Events Coordinator, Number 8, is a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) or a Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) who meets the same criteria as Numbers 2 through 7. The Marine Corps pilots flying the C-130T Hercules aircraft, affectionately known as "Fat Albert," must be aircraft commander qualified with at least 1,200 flight hours.
It is the mission of the Blue Angels, “to showcase the teamwork and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps through flight demonstrations and community outreach while inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country.”
These jet pilots have gone through rigorous preparation and each has been chosen and set apart to be a part of this elite team. These pilots are to be people of exceptional character and courage. I went to an air show in Virginia in the 1990s and had the privilege of witnessing some of the most awe-inspiring and dangerous arial stunts I have ever seen in my life. Each one of us was chosen and set apart by the Creator of the Universe for this time!
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; - 1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
Not only is the level of their flight skills off the charts, as I witnessed this air performance, I could not help but imagine what it must be like to be a part of that team. I imagine that it is more than just a team — it is a family — a brotherhood. I imagine this level of intimate trust they have for one another is essential for them to be able to accomplish these feats. Each must be others-focused — looking out for them — all the while, at the same time, remaining focused on what they are doing in the air — there is no room for selfishness to operate in this environment!
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. - Philippians 2:3-4 (NKJV)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” - John 13:34-35 (NKJV)
I watched in amazement, with eyes wide open, at how they can fly in such a perfectly executed formation with such proximity to each other that it is like the pilots are of one mind! Their choreography is so precise that it flows into a beautifully executed arial dance — at the same level of grace displayed by the most talented ballet dancers in the world.
that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. - John 17:21 (NKJV)
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; - 1 Peter 3:8 (NKJV)
2 Therefore if there is any [a]consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. - Philippians 2:2 (NKJV)
It is a marvelous display of man and machine operating in tandem and in alignment to accomplish a common goal. As I watched them take to the skies and do things that most people can only dream about doing, I could not help but think about how quick each member of the team needed to be ready to listen to every single instruction given to them by their leader, and, not just to listen but to execute each command immediately without question nor any doubt whatsoever. The level of focus and communication required is crucial because one slight miscalculation can lead to a very tragic result. We are each called to intentionally position our hearts to listen to the voice of God and to ask the Holy Spirit to teach and to guide us into all truth! It is the will of God that we will take the time to be gracious and patient with Him and with one another in love!
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; - James 1:19 (NKJV)
And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” - Acts 5:32 (NKJV)
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. - Isaiah 55:9 (NKJV)
The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. - Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NKJV)
Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. - Colossians 4:6 (NKJV)
We, as followers of Jesus Christ, as new creations in Him, are the sons and daughters of the Living God! We are part of God’s eternal Family! We are all part of the body of Christ and we are all called to love and to serve one another! We are called to be of one accord because we are all citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven! We are all called to work together in tandem, fulfilling the Great Commission to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations! It is time for us to be united, to live and to operate in our true identity as part of the family of God!
Dearest ones, remember that united we stand, divided we fall! We were never meant to stay on the ground, but to soar together with Jesus, seated in Heavenly places with Him and to live and to operate out of that higher reality! There is nothing God cannot accomplish through us when we have our hearts united, in agreement, surrendered to Him and aligned with His plans and purposes for such a time as this! Remember that Jesus said that we would do even greater things than He did on earth!
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” - Mark 9:23 (NKJV)
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: - John 1:12 (NKJV)
having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, - Ephesians 1:5 (NKJV)
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” - Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. - Ephesians 4:15-16 (NKJV)
I, therefore, the prisoner [a]of the Lord, [b]beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in [c]you all. - Ephesians 4:1-6 (NKJV)