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Sunday, 25 August 2013
Aviation & The Search for the Meaning of Life
My name's Ron Lucock & I like aeroplanes. I like looking at them in magazines. I look at them on the internet. I even have fantasies about them.
I'm not into cars. I don't smoke, drink alcohol or play any sport.
I've never actually grabbed a plane by the controls & flown one in the air. Like most people, my life is the product of the resources & opportunities allotted me. Some people might say they make their own opportunities. I say good luck to them. Some people, either by their choices, or through no fault of their own whatsoever, don't even get the opportunity to create an opportunity. Some just have to play the cards they're dealt.
My thing is aeroplanes. The only problem is, I don't know why. And because I don't know why I like aeroplanes, I feel somewhat silly most of the time, even embarrassed.
And then those closest to me will tell me I'm silly for feeling silly about it. They tell me I should just accept & embrace it. You'd think I was coming out or something.
But I'm intimidated by what I don't understand about myself. I don't have to understand big things, like the universe, or gravity, or teenagers. There's so much in nature that I can't understand, yet it absolutely fascinates me. But when it comes to me, I expect to know what's going on. Yet I don't, & it drives me mad.
I can't think of any one event that could have possibly spawned a life-long interest in aviation. My father often talks of the time he took me to Sydney Airport as a little boy, where a replica of Sir Charles Kingsford Smiths' "Southern Cross" hung from the terminal ceiling in honour of the airport's namesake. "Look daddy, it's got wiiiiings!!", I'm told I excitedly yelled. But I can't say that's what got me hooked on aeroplanes. I obviously already knew what a wing was after all.
I'm a man of faith. Is my interest in aviation a gift from God? Are we "given" interests? Do they come pre-installed at conception? I would gladly give up my day job to be a pilot for organisations like Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF). But at 45 & no pilots' licence, that aint gonna happen. I think my wife & kids might have something to say about that too. So why was I given this gift, if that's what it is?
Are we given interests purely to have something to be interested in? To have something to do? Is that partly what makes us different from animals & robots? And if man was made in God's image, does that mean God has interests outside of things like salvation for all mankind & the end of the world?
Alone & isolated, I feel like a complete twit sometimes for being interested in aviation. Then I go to an airshow, or see planespotters at airports, or think about how much money is involved in this industry. Or sometimes it just takes a post from "Aircraft Fanatics" in my Facebook news feed, to remind me I'm not alone. We are legion, for we are many.
So to my fellow enthusiasts, be you armchair or professional, thank you, & may you keep & enjoy the passion, excitement & thrill of what you do. Whether you're making Airfix kits, listening to ATC scanners, planespotting, Tumbling, blogging, or flying for a living or in service to your country's defense, can I encourage you to follow your dream, & keep doing what you love. We might not know why we do it, but do it anyway.