She did it again.

I like to publically highlight my wife’s fabulous, thoughtful, sneaky acts of love.

This time, for my “milestone” seventieth birthday bash she arranged for me to fly in a glider! This was a total surprise—I had no hint until we were in front of the airfield and she said, “Happy Birthday.” Cheryl has a habit of tucking ideas I mention in her heart for later fulfillment. There is no one like her. Thank you Cheryl.

Come, relive last Saturday’s amazing day.

First, Cheryl had arranged for my immediate family to meet us there—even the out of town ones. That includes both daughters, their families (all seven grands!), my wonderful sister-in-law, and Mom and Dad (Dad is 90 years old). There is nothing like having your own cheerleading section in life to stir your heart and to dissipate any nervousness. I will never forget seeing the grandkids running beside the landing strip as we touched down, screaming and jumping up and down with delight as the glider stopped.

Second, there is the experience of flying in a glider itself. Jason, my affable pilot, said the blue sky, lots of wind, and even the cold temperatures made for a perfect day. We lifted up quickly, towed by our bright yellow tow plane wiggling ahead of us. With a mountain range in the foreground so they could watch some of our flight, Samuel said it looked like we were flying like a bird. Soaring and floating on air have entirely new meanings now. Exhilarating. The pure enjoyment of God’s creation was everywhere and I am committed anew to seeking His pleasure through my response to what He has made (Cf. Romans 1).

I was in the front seat and could see everything, including an instrument that said we went as high as 4800 feet. We flew over mountains, followed the Hiwassee River into the mountains, and gazed below at Highway 411. We saw a Mennonite community, a lake, and, in the distance, the smoking towers of Watts Bar Dam and the edge of the Cumberland Plateau. Stunning. May my heart continually seek and see God at work, as He is, every day.

Third, it was a faith experience. Faith requires us to do risky things. Without previous warning or instruction, all of a sudden Jason said as we were being towed, “On three I want you to pull that red handle right in front of you.” Suddenly, we were separated from the tow plane and my life was in Jason’s hands.

Last, I can still see the red “yaw string” right in front of me. Staying airborne meant Jason had to intentionally steer the glider, keeping the yaw string straight up and down with the wind currents that kept us aloft. How I need the constant yaw string of life that the Scriptures offer.

Your turn next—to enjoy God’s gifts, fly by faith, and to always keep the red yaw string in view.

Let’s fly!

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