Paper Airplanes

Its Christmas Day 2009, with just about 1 hour left in the day. And, like every Christmas, the kids made out like bandits with gifts from mom and dad, grandparents and great-grandparents, and a great-aunt and uncle. Among the spoil were Legos, Lincoln Logs, some RC cars with ultra-bright blue and red LEDs, a Dippin' Dots maker, a Pixos art machine for each girl, and jewelry boxes. But one gift emerged as daddy's favorite. It's a book of paper airplanes! Specifically, it has ten different airplanes to make, some gliders, some darts, some stunt planes. There's even one plane, called the Hurricane, which is a circle. Timmy and I had a lot of fun making airplanes and throwing them across the room. As I sat there tonight folding paper, I found myself taking a venture back to the wonder I experienced as a kid making airplanes. Not just the fun of tossing them across the room, but the work that goes into them. To make a good plane, you just don't fold paper any old way. Each fold must be precise. What is done on one side needs to be done on the other. A paper airplane, to fly properly, requires symmetry. It's really kind of cool.

As I was flying the last plane I made tonight, it hit me that paper airplanes brought out in me something that makes the Lord Jesus very happy-a childlike faith. He said to His followers, "If you want to enter the Kingdom of God, you must have faith like a little child" (my paraphrase). When I think of childlike faith, I'm not just thinking trust. While that is a huge part of faith, it's not the only part of faith. Think back to you childhood. Think back to that sense of wonder that you had. How was it that dad could mow the lawn, and instead of dying, a week later it was flourishing and in need of another mow? How could that Space Shuttle make it from that launch pad in Florida to outer space? How is it that a caterpillar morphs into a beautiful butterfly in about 2 weeks time in that tight chrysalis? Those are just a few of the things that put a sense of awe in us.

When you go out tomorrow, I want to stop and look around. So much of God's creation simply passes by without us giving it much thought. We adults get so focused on "important stuff" that we become colorblind to the wonderful things the Lord has put here. We need to stop and smell the roses, to use a very tired cliché. Remember the commercials for a popular allergy medication? The one where someone is outside, but the shot is blurred and dull? Then the person pulls out the allergy med box, and the dull, blurry image peels away to reveal a vibrantly colorful and clear picture. That's what I think we need from time to time. Call it a spiritual antihistamine. Why spiritual when we're talking about a physical world we are in awe over? Because we need to see the world as it really is. It's the creation of our all-powerful God, who happens to be Spirit. When we can let our minds take in the wonder and majesty of creation, then we in turn should let it translate into praise for the infinitely creative God who made it. Instead of stuffy noses, we have stuffed up spirits. We need to get our sense of wonder back.

I believe that we honor God when we explore and experience this world He made for us. He's made this whole universe as a vast backyard for us to explore. We not only have the technology to see the deepest places on earth, and the now unfolding catalog of new species to find in them, but we are getting glimpses of the awesome things outer space is full of. Distant stars exploding and imploding, beautiful nebulas, and new planets dazzle us. The psalmist was right. The heavens really do declare God's glory! I know that sadly, many of those who see these things daily don't translate it to faith a really big God. Honestly, I don't see how they don't. But the more I learn, the more I explore, the more I want to praise God. Why, just the human body alone is so impossibly complex that all I can do is give God glory.

I never thought I'd find inspiration in a few paper airplanes. Till next time!

God bless!