I flew a plane once.
A single-prop Cessna serving as school bus for me and my siblings. Christmas break was over and we were making the two-hour flight from tiny jungle town back to boarding school. Being the dinkiest of the passengers, my seven-year-old self was strapped onto the narrow bench way at the back of the small cabin. If I stretched forward, I could peer out the side window and see wispy white clouds, wide blue sky, and the dark green carpet laid out below us. A brown river snaked its way through the jungle and I followed the twisting path until I could no longer see it.
I settled back against the metal seat, listened to the loud high-pitch drone of the engine, and felt boredom creeping in. That’s when my sister nudged me. I glanced up to see her pointing at the pilot. He was inviting me forward. I unclipped my seatbelt and crawled between the bucket seats until I reached the cockpit. “Do you want to fly?” the pilot asked me, his voice almost a yell in my ear.
He made space in front of him and I sat in his lap while he pointed to the horizon dial, placed my hands on the yoke and showed me how to keep the plane level. Then I flew the plane.
For about three minutes, until the passengers behind me started complaining — my erratic steering made them sick.
This memory popped in my head while I was praying earlier. I’ve been asking God to do something for me. The accomplishment of it is entirely on his shoulders. I can do nothing in my own strength to bring it about. But it’s like he invites me to participate in the process by trusting him. I trust and he makes it happen.
Did I really fly that plane? My feet couldn’t reach the pedals that controlled the flaps. The dials and buttons and knobs stretching across the instrument panel looked like fun to push and turn, but I had no idea what they were for. I didn’t know about altitude or airspeed or flight plan. But when the pilot invited me to fly the plane, I said yes.
And when God invites me to participate in his miracle, his work, his plan by trusting him, I say yes.