One time, I was flying from Denver to Chicago in the spring when the winds are awful. It was my first week at a new job and I moved mountains and made lots of calls to get onto that flight with my boss so we could hightail it to Chicago for a sales meeting.
I ended up in the middle seat near the front of the plane and she was in the back. About an hour into the flight, the plane started dropping out of the sky, literally. We were heading down and the pilot came on the PA and shouted, “Everyone, in your seats now!” The flight attendants ran with the little carts to the back of the plane and told everyone to put their seat belts on.
It was quiet, strangely and eerily quiet except for a few gasps and cries each time the plane would lurch up or down or side to side. It went on for what felt like hours, but it was only a few minutes. But I was scared, really, really scared. And I prayed to God. I did not pray to nature or the wind or Good Orderly Direction or Yin or Yang. I prayed to capital “G” God and I begged to live. And when I thought that might be asking for too much, I reduced my prayer to please let me die on impact so I did not burn to death in the fuselage.
In those last moments of thinking the plane was going down, I simply wanted not to suffer physical pain. I did not ask for forgiveness, I did not ask for anything other than the release of future pain.
The plane leveled out and we did not crash into the earth at a million miles an hour. Everyone was quiet and weird and scared the rest of the flight. The pilot came on and said it was unexpected turbulence that did not show up on the radar and that it happens sometimes.
Did my prayer to God save us from crashing? No, because I never even asked for the plane not to crash, I really just did not want to feel pain. And I didn't. So, I guess there you go. I guess someone else must have prayed for the plane not to crash.
Do I believe in God? I don’t know, but I pray every day anyway. Because I did not burn to death in the fuselage. And because one day I might.