Anglican Diocese of Armidale

The Anglican Diocese of Armidale exists to glorify God by introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven.


In Focus

Droning on

Monday, July 30, 2018

Drones are interesting things. Not the ones that speak. They are never interesting. I mean the flying type. My children brought me a Mavic Pro Drone for a recent big zero birthday. I am not sure why, but I suspect it was the boys’ idea, hoping that I would take footage of them surfing. I think my daughter just went along with it, understanding the reality of a boy’s love of toys. I am someone who hunts deer for our fridge so my wife suggested I could now find them by air and then drive to them towards myself saving me time and energy. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that that kind of defeats the purpose. Leaving those ideas aside I have to say it is just a lot of fun and offers me the opportunity to take all kinds of interesting photos. Interestingly, no one suggested that the drone would teach me things about life and I certainly wasn’t expecting it. But it did. Let me explain.

Firstly, reading the instruction manual was pretty helpful. A bit like reading the Bible which is God’s instruction book for life. I learnt very quickly that you ignore the instructions to the drone’s peril not to mention the peril of observers when I tried to fly it indoors. Thankfully it crashed with little damage but I won’t do that again. I can’t tell you how many times I have ignored God’s instruction with the same response, “I won’t do that again.”

Secondly, I have found the fellowship of other “Droners” on YouTube to be really helpful as well. They told me to not try flying my drone indoors. I wish I had listened to them earlier. It is a bit like having the fellowship of other Christians who in the journey of life have learnt wisdom by their mistakes. They can pass that wisdom on to us so hopefully we can avoid the same mistakes. The longer I live the more I wish I had learnt the wisdom of others before getting it wrong myself.

Thirdly, knowing your drone is all important and this is where it gets really interesting. A drone can travel great distances and at high altitudes but they function by batteries which last about 23 minutes. The camera is a real buzz and you can become so preoccupied with taking your pictures you neglect the drone. The hand control makes warning noises when the battery is low and if you ignore the signs and don’t have it return home, the empty battery will crash your drone. But actually, the batteries don’t crash your drone, the inattentive controller does. It is a lot like life really. With the capacity to travel great distances and soar to great heights, you can become so preoccupied by what is good that you neglect what is best. You can be at the controls and ignore the warnings, overwork things, neglect responsibilities, fail to take time to recharge and it is little surprise when such people fall in a heap somewhere.

Fourthly there are rules for drones. Don’t you hate rules!  Why can’t we let the drone just fly and be free? Why can’t we fly them around airports for example? Why can’t we fly them in crowded shopping centres? You would think the answer’s obvious like the warning on the chainsaw that says do not stop chain with hand. I am amazed at the stupidity of people when they fail to realise that rules are made for the protection of people and relationships. God provides rules in His instruction manual for life, the fellowship of wisdom from those who have already suffered the results of ignoring the rules, and the observation that when you ignore the rules you suffer and things crash.

I really appreciate the gift of a drone but it has taught me to appreciate even more my God, my church, myself and of course others. To crash your drone is costly but not nearly as expensive as crashing your life. It’s worth letting God take the controls.