Article of the Week | BYU Studies

Article of the Week

Aviophobia
July 31, 2017
Article of the Week
Aviophobia
Kim Webb Reid

This daily feature is the introduction to a full article by Kim Webb Reid that was published in our newest issue, 56:2. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

Kim Webb Reid examines her lifelong fear of flying that began when a SkyWest flight crashed into a private plane over her elementary school while she was at recess. "Pilot error, the reports often say when there's an air disaster, as if that should make the public feel safer—as if piloting errors don't occur for me on a daily basis while I navigate through this life with anxiety."

Reid ponders the constant friction between the need for spiritual surrender and the impulse for physical survival. Her grandmother never owned a microwave oven because she knew it would cause cancer. But she died of cancer at age fifty-six. Her brothers died at forty-seven and almost fifty-seven. They had lived downwind from open-air nuclear testing. The biggest reason she's on earth, Reid surmises, is to learn the hardest lesson. She must surrender her trust to God without him promising her physical preservation in return.