Keep a Clean Engine

In some earlier years of my life I worked with a local crop duster as his loader. We would work out of the local airport and at times go out to a farm based landing strip to sow seed or spray crops.
I also washed his plane and helped him keep an eye out for anything on the plane that might be wrong or needing some attention. He was very meticulous on keeping a very clean engine.
In this way, if a tiny oil leak developed, it would be recognized immediately so measures could be taken to correct it. We certainly did not want any drop in the power of the engine while flying at altitudes of tree top and below. So it was a daily inspection to make sure the engine was kept clean as a whistle.
I remember one incident one summer in a field strip that required all the power he had available and then some. A summer shower made a lake of water at the taxi end of the strip with the plane sitting right in the middle of the mud, water and all. He could not leave the plane there over night and risk the possibility of vandalism, so he had to fly it out.
As he gave the plane much forward throttle just to taxi it in the mud, with mud and water spraying behind him, he got it positioned. This would be the moment of truth. Right before he gave it full throttle to begin his take off, he looked over at me and put his hands together under his chin indicating, “Pray for me.” And that I did because as a young pilot myself, I knew a little about the obstacle it was to pull out of the mud and water, not to mention to clear the dike that was at the end of the short field strip. He gave it full throttle and as mud covered everything behind him, I watched him in the distance as it appeared that he cleared the dike by only inches.
He flew it back to the airport where I had a royal job of cleaning the plane. Had there been a power drop at that critical moment of take off, he would have crashed for sure. Lesson: Keep your engine clean through the blood of Jesus and your power on full throttle through the continuous infilling and leadership of the Holy Spirit.
This is how you can pull out of the mud of life that comes with the storms and clear the dikes so you can be airborne. A drop in power at a critical time can cause a crash. Trust in God, stay in full power, and make the trip home safe and sound.

Jackie Calhoun is a contributing writer and can be reached at