Just a Little Higher


Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard had the hardest decision of their life to make as they entered the final leg of their journey with Orbiter 3. Bertrand was on the phone with his wife, his "weather eye," pondering if they should attempt crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Fuel was low for the 180 foot high Breitling Orbiter 3 after it had begun its historic journey sailing into the sky 2 weeks before from Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland. At the rate they were going, they would never be able to complete the journey.

But his wife was trying to reassure him saying, "If you allow Orbiter 3 to go a few hundred feet higher, you will catch another jet stream. Just a few hundred feet," she had pleaded. In desperation, he fired up the burners, obeying her suggestions. With grandeur, the ship rose to 36,000 feet and into this new jet stream where the winds were 2-3 times faster, topping 230 miles per hour. They crossed the Atlantic quickly and soon were over the deserts of the Sahara landing near Mut, in south-western Egypt. On March 21, 1999, they landed, having covered 29,055 miles.

With their fuel nearly spent and after riding the winds for 19 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes, the two pilots--Piccard, a Swiss psychiatrist whose grandfather invented the pressurized capsule for high-altitude ballooning, and Jones, a veteran British balloonist--took title to being the first balloonist to circumnavigate the globe, claiming the $1 million prize.

"Did you sense something spiritual, an awakening or force in your trip?" They were asked.

"Yes," they responded, but somehow, they could not put their finger on exactly what it was. They did see Mother Earth releasing her dew and fragrance to nurture and sustain earth's creatures. Yes, they were overwhelmed and captivated by the closing scenes of the sand dunes in the desolate Sahara Desert. Yes, they were in awe that something symmetric, sovereign and stupendous had to design this creation. Yet, they could not put their finger on exactly what it was. St. Augustine agreed when he wrote:

"If something cannot be explained, it most likely is God-designed."

Just a few hundred feet higher. That's what did it! That's what could make it for you as well when you decide to sail past your limits and see a new life in God. Just a little higher and you may sense the finger of God working within your life, your capsule. If you step out in faith, spend just a little more fuel and reach just a little higher, you can reach that jet stream.

You may be in the closing scenes of your desolate Sahara Desert but God can do a great wonder within you if you but ask Him into your life and take charge or control. It may be the hardest decision in your life but the prize is well worth it. This quote may be yours: If something cannot be explained, it most likely is God-designed. He is symmetric, sovereign and stupendous!

Contributed by George Prins.

Thanks to Daily Wisdom [email protected]

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