Vertigo is a general term for dizziness or disorientation. Webster says vertigo is a sensation of motion in which the individual or the individual’s surroundings seem to whirl dizzily; a dizzy confused state of mind. As a pilot we learned about vertigo but in a more broad sense. Sometimes you would experience vertigo as a spinning or tumbling feeling. Early in flight training some guys would get really sick after their first acrobatic flight. Loops and rolls and pulling g’s would really mess up some people.
I took an engineer for a ride once in the back of an F/A-18. Hornets are pretty capable and can actually hurt you if you aren’t acclimated. So when I took someone up for a ride I was nice and took it easy. This flight was a chase flight and we had a little gas at the end to “mess around” and show this engineer what the jet could do. He was pretty excited. I flew a “squirrel cage” which is a series of vertical maneuvers with up to 4 g’s, loops, split-S, Immelmann and half Cuban eights. You get the idea…lots of loops and stuff. At the end of the series I did a “victory roll” which is just a moderate rate aileron roll. He loved the whole thing. He was laughing and smiling. Then I let him “fly it from the back seat.” That means he is “flying” with me “helping.” He did the same series of maneuvers with the aileron roll at the end. This time instead of laughing there was silence. I could tell he let go of the stick, so I took the controls. I looked in the mirror and the guy had disappeared. He was really sick. His inner ear was so messed up he was spinning and rolling and tumbling in his head. It made him quite sick. After we landed, he couldn’t even drive until hours later. Ouch. What a bit of vertigo.
That kind of vertigo is pretty obvious. I had it once on a flight when I couldn’t “clear my ears” on a descent. I had to take off my helmet and “valsalva” to clear my ears. When the one “sticky” eardrum equalized I had a short time of tumbling in my head. I had to hold onto the hand rails and close my eyes until it passed. No harm, no foul. I was still up high and on my way home. I just had to tell my wingman I was going to fall out of formation for a bit.
Another kind of vertigo is not so obvious and is a real killer. We called it “the leans.” This is when you are in a shallow turn or roll the aircraft at a very slow roll rate and your inner ear gets really messed up. You are in a turn but think you are wings level. Even worse is when you need to roll out and fly level, now you think you are rolling the other way! For inexperienced pilots that are flying “by the seat of their pants” it can kill. You keep flying in a gradually increasing angle of bank until you spiral into the ground. This was one of those “widow maker” maneuvers. I had this many times at night in the really really dark trying to make an approach to the aircraft carrier. Oh yeah, landing on that sucker was hard enough without fighting this sensation in your brain that was lying to you but it felt very real. When there is no horizon, no “truth” to rely on and use your other “sensors” to align too, you are so disoriented. Even the slightest moon with just a little horizon would fix everything. Now your eyeballs would flood you with truth and the inner ear thing would go away. Sometimes even a little tap on the head would disturb the inner ear just enough that your internal gyros would re-align and you would be level to truth again.
“The leans” was just a form of deception that had to be corrected. When you are in the middle of it, it is very very real. If it got bad enough and you didn’t have a horizon to help you, you would find a wingman. You would call your buddy on the radio and tell him what was going on. Once you got your story straight, you had to “confess” that your brain was messed up and “repent” of your current path to “die” to yourself and “live” on your buddies wing. You just would fly formation on him and use his gyros to keep yours straight or at least keep you from flying into the water. Yeah, you had to “pick up your cross and follow your wingman” to make it to the “finished line” while you enjoyed the “salvation moment” of receiving his “grace” to help you in your time of need.
I hope I am being overly obvious. In the incarnation, Jesus joins the Creator with the created. We are in Him and He is in us and He is in the Father. We are connected. We have a permanent wingman. His Spirit is one with our spirit. His home is in us as His temple. He holds all things together including every part of us. The Holy Spirit is revealing the Father through the Son. We are included in the divine Triune Love relationship that created the universe for us to have a home as His children. We are living in and from our adoption. We are a new kind of creation in Jesus. In His resurrection we were born from above to a new kind of person. Our Adam is dead and has been for 2000 years. We have been accepted as His children since before the foundation of the Earth.
As Adams all the human race had one huge case of vertigo that was “the leans” in one sense and manifest as full-blown, puke inducing, vertigo in another sense. Hiding in the bushes from our loving Father was like grabbing the inflight “pouch” after a little turbulence and leaving our lunch on United Airlines. Our disorientation manifest as dysfunctional concepts of identity and absolutely demonic concepts of God. We moved from a loving family and transitioned in our stupid brains to an angry g.o.d. of eternal torture. Wow, were we spinning and tumbling and throwing up all over the place. The Bible calls it sin. The power of sin was the deception about us and our Father. That is why Jesus is the best wingman in the universe. He is more than out there leading us around. He is in here, in us, saving us from the inside. In His loving embrace we are coming to know His divine life and nature. In His blessed assurance we discover our unearthly assurance. In this place of certainty, we trust Jesus more than even our own instruments. No matter how bad the weather or how dark the night or how turbulent the air or how small the aircraft carrier…He is in us and He is a perfect pilot that knows vertigo well. He lived it and overcame it and killed it with us on the cross. Now we are no longer dysfunctional and disoriented Adams…we are a Kainos creation in Christ.
This is why we can’t compare Old and New Covenants as if the “new” is some improvement on the old. Before the cross we were all experiencing the worst case of “the leans” that you can imagine. Moses had it. Isaiah had it. Jeremiah had it. David had it. YOU DON’T HAVE IT. The enemy and religion want you to think you have it. Actually religion wants you to believe that we are still in a turn while inside you are sure you are not in a turn. Religion is still trying to have you compare and “old” and “new” as if they could be compared. That is your inner ear lying to your eyeballs that are following your wingman.
The “new” covenant is a Kainos covenant. This Greek word means a new kind of thing. It means a “never seen before” kind of thing. It is not a newer version of an old thing. That word in Greek is neos. We are not in a Neos Covenant. We are in a Kainos covenant. In the “old” God made deals with Israel that would get them out of Egypt and into the promised land. This covenant was God’s promise to deliver Israel. As a part of that covenant God had rules that we call the Law of Moses. These rules were intended to keep the Nation of Israel from killing and hurting and hating one another while following God. God’s promise was if they followed these rules they would be blessed. Did you know that if you don’t murder someone your life will be better? Did you know that if you don’t cheat on your wife you will be blessed in your marriage? Just saying.
Paul made it clear that the “Law” was to keep them safe and be their tutor until Jesus. Gentiles were never under the Law or subject to the Old Covenant. This may surprise you. In the west we have been pounded with the Old Covenant with a sprinkle of Jesus to cover up where we couldn’t get it right. That aint the New Covenant. Jesus isn’t how to make the Old work and call it New. No way. The New is getting free of “the leans.” The New is the Kainos way of getting free of vertigo. The New is a stark contrast to the Old. The New is God saving us. The Old is the Nation of Israel trying to survive in a hostile world. The New is the salvation of mankind.
The problem is we have tried to live in the New but still we have “the leans.” We are trying to live in the Kainos reality but we are still believing in a Neos Covenant. We are trying to interpret the New while we are spinning with vertigo. The only way out is Jesus. This is why in a Kainos covenant the atonement is an at-one-ment. We are joined to Him so we can know Him and our Father through Him which is our eternal life. If we believe in a Neos Covenant, then Jesus is just some sacrifice to a monster g.o.d. That is tumbling and puking all over again. It is worse than just “the leans.” It is crashing and burning and thinking everything is OK while you are spinning and dizzy in a demonic disorientation. Jesus sets us free from that vertigo in our Kainos creation. We embrace our Kainos creation in Jesus as our perfect wingman who lives in us.