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  • Grace B-P Contributor

We Are All Placed by God to Fulfil a Role

By Kevin Tan

Courtesy of Kevin Tan, picture of the sunset taken from 38000ft.

Some 40 odd years ago, I applied to be a commercial pilot and was rejected because I had not applied to the Republic of Singapore Airforce (RSAF). Back then, the RSAF was on an expansion programme as it needed all the available young men to join the airforce after the British forces left Singapore. However, as it turned out, I did receive a recruitment letter from RSAF while I was still serving my national service as an Armour Officer. After stringent medical tests and interviews, I was eventually accepted as a pilot trainee. I finally earned my wings after a long, demanding training process of 2 years with high attrition rates. Throughout this journey, I was very thankful that God had given me the required talent and skills to become an airforce pilot.

Subsequent years in the airforce were about honing skills to perform specified roles which were required to carry out roles and duties to defend the country. At times, firing missiles and dropping bombs seemed so destructive. However on hindsight, these are skills required to be effective in our roles to project a competent defence force.

Fast forward, God provided an opportunity for me to switch to become a commercial pilot.

Many a time, I am asked what it’s like being a commercial pilot compared to being a fighter pilot. Although there are significant differences, some fundamentals do not change. You still need situation awareness, professionalism, skills and of course, God’s guiding hand.

Often, friends will tease that being a commercial pilot means pushing buttons and drinking coffee or tea. To a certain extent, it is true that flying a commercial plane is not as physically demanding. Responsibilities also differ as I am now entrusted to ensure the safety of hundreds of lives on board the aircraft, especially during adverse weather conditions or emergencies.

In reality, for commercial flying, the pilot is trained for real time day to day situations while in the military you train for scenarios that you wish may not happen as we can see in the Ukrainian crisis.

While flying and viewing the world from the windows of the cockpit, I have always been in awe at the magnificent sunrise or sunset as well as the many natural wonders that God has created in a short span of six days.

Other than the occupation we are in, we too have to fulfil roles as parents, sons/daughters etc. With so many roles and responsibilities, there will always be joy and happiness along with trials and tribulations. As Pastor Tan always reminds us, being a Christian does not mean that our lives will be smooth and easy. In whatever roles we are placed in by God, we must do our very best, making use of talents granted to us so as to glorify God.

We are often reminded that God makes use of people from all walks of lives for different purposes.

Here are some examples from scripture:

⁃ Moses who felt that he was not the right person to lead Israel out of Egypt

⁃ David who, despite his size, triumphed over Goliath and became a great king.

⁃ Saul who persecuted Christians and later became apostle Paul

⁃ The sinful woman who washed Jesus’ feet

⁃ Poor widow whose offering was two small copper coins

In terms of fulfilment of roles, we do not have to look any further than Jesus, the only begotten son of God. He was sent to die for our sins and resurrected three days later to fulfil prophesies foretold. This ultimate sacrificial act serves as a foundation for our faith.

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