Flying with God ... In Spite of Shaky Landings
- Monday, April 18, 2005
Isn’t it funny how the personality traits that first attracted us to our mates drive us crazy later? Take my husband Jim, for instance. He has always approached adventure with reckless abandon. The fact that he enjoyed rappelling down steep mountains Australian style (upside down) and making 230 foot bungee jumps sent shivers of excitement and intrigue through my entire body, making him the most irresistible man I had ever met. So I married him.
Thirteen years and two kids later, I was frying pork chops when Jim waltzed into the kitchen with that mischievous boy-have-I-got-an-idea-now look on his face. The wild zeal in his eyes told me I needed to brace myself for what was coming next.
“I want to fly airplanes,” he grinned. I wanted to cover my ears and chant, “I’m not going to listen to you. I’m not going to listen to you.” But instead, I decided to be mature about it.
“Have you lost your mind? Do you think I’m going to offer my blessing and seal my fate as a widow at the age of 34? If you do this, I’m never speaking to you again!” (Stomp, stomp, stomp, slam).
Two days and many prayers later, I boldly proclaimed (with one hand on my pajamaed hip and the other waving my toothbrush in the air), “Okay, if you want to do this it’s fine with me. But let’s get one thing clear, buddy. Neither I nor any of your offspring will ever get in that airplane with you!”
Three months later, I was climbing into the back of the airplane. Jim kissed my cheek and promised, “You’re gonna love it.” My excessive fear of heights, however, was screaming otherwise. To make matters worse, Jim’s flight instructor announced, “Jim, today we’re going to work on your shaky landings.”
I leaned forward and lightly tapped the instructor’s shoulder. “Excuse me, what did you say? For a second there I thought you said we were going to work on Jim’s shaky landings.”
The instructor chuckled at my anxiety as Jim began speaking some sort of numeric jargon into the microphone. “Auburn traffic Skyhawk eight-niner-eight-four-seven departing runway three-six.” But all I heard was, “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! We’re all going to die!”
With eyes tightly shut and sweat pouring from my otherwise calm demeanor, I decided the seat belt was not all it’s cracked up to be. I assumed crash position. I braced myself by pressing my feet against the back of the front seats and my palms flat on the ceiling of the plane (for when we rolled, of course). I began confessing all of my sins as I begged for God’s mercy.
I felt the plane lift off the runway. Nothing happened. Ten minutes later, I forced open one eye to see if I had arrived at the pearly gates. Nope, it wasn’t the pearly gates but it was something that took my breath away: a thrilling and fantastic view of God’s creation.
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