Joy in the Journey

It’s not the same plane–not even close.
But it was a reminder of where I once was
What I took for granted
What I have gained
What I have lost and what lies ahead.

Snob that I was, I thought all kids had dads who owned their own airplanes. We had two in my lifetime–both 7 seaters, room for each person in the family. Before that, my dad owned planes with the local flying club. I lost my lunch in countless Piper Cubs, Cessna 150s, 180s, and a myriad of other planes that I have long forgotten.

My head buried in my latest mystery novel, I ignored my dad as he shared God’s magnificent artwork with me. Angry storm clouds looming below as we rode in blue skies punctuated with wispy cirrus clouds.

“Just look, see how beautiful this is? my Dad begged.

“I’m reading, Dad.”

“OK for you.”

Now and I then I looked up to appease him, and grunted as pinks, fire orange, violet hues combined to create sunsets that most individuals have never witnessed. They were there– a gift for me, but I didn’t care.

 Instead.

“When are we going to get there?” I would ask impatiently.

And as we awaited transportation from a weary blacksmithing friend in the middle of the night, I would complain.

 “Why can’t we fly in regular jets so we get to places on time?”

He didn’t care.

He was lost in his own world, of peace, and joy–whistling and singing, despite my whining and complaining.

This was his heaven. His journey and he was sharing it with me–and I could have cared less.

It wasn’t until his health deteriorated and he relinquished his pilot’s license and sold his plane that I began to appreciate the blessings he offered and those that I took for granted. Giving up his freedom in the air deflated him and probably did more to end his vibrant life, than just about anything else.

How shameful I behaved! After all:

How many kids had a dad fly them and their friends to music camp, not once, but 6 times?
How many were able to take spur of the moment vacations to Mackinac Island by plane and not have to stand on the crowded ferry with thousands of others?
How many could get out of school to travel by private plane on business trips and take side trips to pick oranges or ride the roller coaster at Knott’s Berry Farm?
How many were blessed  to attend Fly-ins and EAA conventions with their Dad?

We did this stuff all the time and it wasn’t until it ended, that I realized what a gift this was. What a gift he was.

Our journey to Christ is the same way.

The gifts are with us always–but do we open our eyes and see the tapestry being woven before our eyes, or do we choose to look at the back and complain about the knotted, mismatched, and loose threads? I have.

I think God wants us to find Joy in our journey each day–no matter if we are in the midst of rain, drought, weakness, pain, periods of wealth or dearth. There is always joy. There is always something to be grateful for. Where there is life–there is hope!

Don’t wait until it is too late to say Thank you.

Thank you Dad. Thank you God!

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