“For some years I have been afflicted with the belief that flight is possible to man… I feel that it will soon cost me an increased amount of money if not my life.” Wilbur Wright, 1900
Wilbur Wright believed that his flying machine was worth the cost. He was a dreamer with his feet on the ground. He and his brother, Orville, spent hours on end in the salted sea air of Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina, testing their skeletal plane.
The beginnings of aviation came with great risk and much cost for these two brothers, but their faith in the machine kept them moving forward. On December 17, 1903, their Wright Flyer took to the skies—and flew! Five years later, the Wright Brothers had developed a plane that stayed in the sky for one hour. The U.S. Army would be among the customers who eventually purchased factory-made Flyers.
When typhoid fever took Wilbur Wright’s life at age 45, he had known the joy of seeing his “afflicted belief” become a reality. He had faced the risks of being an inventor with courage.
To be wise, each of us must consider the cost of our pursuits. The Christian, too, is called upon to consider the cost of following Christ. The price may at times feel like an affliction to our flesh, but when we keep our eyes set upon the prize and strive to reach the end of the course, there is great joy and fulfillment waiting. No one knows this truth better than our Lord, Who gave up everything to come to earth and live among us:
For you are recognizing [more clearly] the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [His astonishing kindness, His generosity, His gracious favor], that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich (abundantly blessed). 2 Corinthians 8:9
What a wonderful season in which to reflect on all our Lord Jesus Christ gave up in pursuit of us. Giving our life to Him in return will cost us as well. It may cost us pleasures, status, comfort, or other earthly desires. But there is no comparison to the joy when we experience eternity in His presence. What will you give your life for?