Reflections on Technical Evaluation

Posted on January 22, 2011


By John

In a profession in which a few screws failing to be tightened could result in a million dollar airplane crumpled at the end of a runway, or even worse, the death of passengers, it is only expected that they would want to evaluate my technical skills. The harsh conditions faced in Africa demand a high level of care for the aircraft, to make sure they are mechanically sound and ready to perform at a moments notice.

As I approached these last weeks, before my evaluation, I found myself imagining two different scenarios; one where I passed and one where I did not. They both filled me with a certain amount of dread. I saw my evaluators as passing judgment on who I was as a human being, not simply on my aptitude for working in missionary aviation. If I failed that would mean I was worthless. If I passed then I would be bound to live up to this label of being ‘good enough.’ In both cases I was believing the same lie: that my identity is rooted in my accomplishments.

I was reminded that my identity is not in my performance; it is not in what I do or fail to do. My identity is held secure in Christ. He died for me and raised me up as a co-heir. I am a child of the most-high God and nothing, including my ability or inability to fix airplanes, can rob that from me. I don’t have to live in fear of not living up to a standard; therefore, I am free to do my job well, in thankfulness to God for his deep love for me.

All this is to say that at the end of my evaluation I passed!

I learned a lot during the evaluation, but I am glad to be on the other side of it and moving toward Africa. I am more thankful still for my God who is the sole justifier of my existence, and he defines my worth, not anything else.

Thank you to every one who was praying for us; it was on the whole a very peaceful time and one in which we felt quite blessed.