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Archive for the ‘Patience’ Category


Paper planes in Book Week 09

Image by rhondda.p via Flickr

The last couple of days, I haven’t been able to walk around my house without almost stepping on a multi-colored paper airplane.

These aren’t your run-of-the-mill paper airplanes, they have been folded in a variety of ways that look more like origami than planes. Each way of folding them gives them each their own aerodynamics, their own way of flying. So, they all fly a little bit differently. One will swoop straight up before turning around and gliding into the ground, while another will fly like a whirly twirly in a straight line until it slowly loses height and sets itself on the ground.

In the very welcomed spring evenings, my son has been calling me outside to see how this one, or that one will fly. When he launches each one, it’s pretty evident that unless you know what that particular plane will do you have no idea where it will land. So, we watch it expecting it to do something unique and wonder where it will perch itself on its landing. Sometimes it’s in an easy to get to spot, sometimes not, but my son has become very adept at gathering them from their various landing zones.

What’s kind of interesting in his newly discovered paper airplane making state of being, is that until this week he’s never been particularly keen on the little flying bits of paper. In fact, many people might say he’s a little too old for such a thing, but you just never know at what age something will strike your fancy. You could just as easily get interested in making paper airplanes at 6 as 12 as 30, or even older as far as I’m concerned.

Yet, it was the way his interest was piqued that was a little interesting. My father had given my son a book about making paper airplanes complete with beautiful paper and instructions detailing the intricate way to fold some of them a few years ago. The book has been sitting on our bookshelf ever since. Until this week, that is, when my son pulled it out and started folding.

He has taken great delight in making the airplanes and watching what they do and don’t do. Like I said earlier they look very much like the origami sculptures you see of birds and such, so they’re actually quite pretty as well. And, I must admit that I’ve taken great delight in them too.

Yet, there has been this incredible lag time between the time my father gave him the book and the time that he’s picked it up and enjoyed it. I think part of it is that it just didn’t catch his interest at the time, or he just didn’t have the patience to sit and down and make them, or maybe they were a little beyond his ability – like I said some of them are incredibly detailed, and if you have ever tried to fold a piece of paper into something looks like more than just a folded piece of paper you know what I mean about needing to develop the ability.

Many times this is just what happens to us with the Lord. He gives us something that doesn’t quite catch our attention at the time, whether it’s because of a lack of interest or ability, and we put it on the shelf. Then, at just the right time, when we are the most ready to use or develop that which He has given us, He causes us to somehow “discover” that very gift that we’ve had all along.

“For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.”

Psalm 84:11

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I love looking through photographs. Of course, it’s not the same as it used to be when you actually developed your photos and put them in albums, casually perusing them sitting in a comfy chair or sofa with a cup of coffee beside you. No, now it’s about  looking at a multitude of digital images on your computer screen in your office chair, and in my household, sometimes that includes a growing tween perched on the arm of the chair beside you.

It never fails, the minute I open up a file with photo’s and my son sees it, he is gripped by the images that he and I have taken through the years. As we flip through them, it’s very clear who took what. And, it has less to do with the technical aspect of the photo’s, and everything to do with the subjects.

Even though my son is only 12, he has an eye and steady hand for on-the-go photos that amazes me. He likes nothing more than to grab the camera while we’re driving somewhere and take photos through the open window or the windshield. Very rarely are they fuzzy or out of focus with the movement, somehow he is able to get clear, crisp shots, of the road in front of us, the sky above us, the blue-pink tinged mountains near us, or even a buffalo grazing in a field next to us, as we wind our way through whatever highways and byways we find ourselves on.

I, on the other hand, seem to have a great propensity for standing still outdoor shots and all that that term conjures up, from mountains, to architecture, to sculptures and everything in between, I take photos of anything that catches my fancy at the time.

Yet, when I was looking through more than  one digital album of photo’s lately I noticed that I take a disproportionate amount of photo’s of doors. Yes, doors, which seems kind of odd even to me who actually takes these photo’s. Doors in Italy, doors in Greece, doors in Turkey, doors in England, doors in Arizona, doors in Texas, doors at this fabulous door reseller in Taos, New Mexico. Doors. Doors. Doors.

So this got me thinking, why doors? It’s not like all of my photo’s are of doors, they’re mixed in with a lot of other really nice shots, but why the disproportionate amount? Then I realized it’s because doors represent movement, change, entering and exiting. You really can’t just ignore a door, you can either walk through it, walk away from it, wait for someone to open it or open it yourself.

Doors can represent hope in a way, even if one is closed to you right now. It’s not a solid wall you have to scale or find a way around, as long as a door is in front of you, there’s always the possibility that it will be open to you later.

In our lives, we experience a lot of doors. Many times we throw ourselves against a door, only to find it’s locked to us and we have to then move on, allowing ourselves to be led to another one that is open to us. Sometimes there are doors that we have to wait patiently in front of, waiting for God to open them for us, and, sometimes all we have to do is reach out to find that He has unlocked it for us, we just needed to believe Him and reach out our hand and turn the doorknob.

At the end of the day, not only is He the creator of the Universe, but He’s also the one that leads us to the doors that we must individually walk through. For many of us those doors are totally different. We can walk with one another towards a door and support each other as we get there, but He’s the only One who can walk us through our own doors to the lives He has planned for us.

We soon find out when we try to open doors we were never supposed to go through how difficult and many times impossible it is to gain access to those doors and what lies behind them. They are forever locked to us, while our own open at just the right time and in just the right way.

“So Jesus said to them again, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.‘”

John 10:7-9

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