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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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