When I was a kid I used to build models. Maybe you know the kind. They consisted of a bunch of plastic pieces stuck in a plastic holding frame that you twisted out and glued or snapped together. If you got too impatient and wrestled all the pieces out first you could have a real mess on you hands. Usually the piece’s name or label was written on the frame. Most of the pieces were too small to imprint with the ID. Now you had a bunch of pieces lying around and the challenge was to put the model together with insufficient information. I would look at the picture and then the instructions and try my best to match up all the right pieces. Most often there were pieces that were “left” or “right” pieces. You could easily attach the wrong piece to the wrong side. Now you have a sticky mess. Why did you have to take out those pieces one at a time? That just takes too long.
Then there was the glue. Some glue came in a tube and you had to “squeeze” out just the right amount. It took patience and a steady hand. If you pressed too hard or too quick you got too much and again a sticky mess. Some of the better glue came in a bottle with a brush. This worked better but you had to take the lid off and on all the time. Of course it was a screw lid so it took two hands. If you just left it off it would dry on the surface and make a sticky mess. If you just set the lid on the top to keep the air out you would for sure forget and pick up the bottle by the lid, which wasn’t really attached, and the “just enough sticky to get airborne” would give way and…bottle on it’s side with a big sticky mess. Why was using the glue so time-consuming?
Then there was the actual assembly. Usually there were a couple of steps and then the instructions would put in this ridiculous statement “wait until glue dries before proceeding to the next step.” What kind of unreasonable sadistic person would make such a demand on a ten year old? So you forge ahead and get too far ahead of the glue drying step and…total collapse, sticky mess. Why did that glue take so long to dry?
Years later I was in college and decided to build a flying model. I bought all the stuff to create the masterpiece of my imagination, a flying glider of wonder! I had scrimped and saved to get all the remote control radio, servos, rods, connectors, glider kit, mono-cote, irons, glues, pins, boards, sand paper, weights, hooks, high start launcher, and more. I was so excited to begin the project. At first I was very careful to take my time and “wait for the glue to dry.” As the freedom flyer began to take shape my excitement exceeded my patience. The glue was more tacky and less solid. The straight lines were more approximations then precise measurements. The assembly fixture was sufficient but not solid. The last step was to apply this stuff called mono-cote. It is a thin plastic film like on the top of a toy drum. It comes in rolls and you cut pieces to size and “iron” them in place. When it is heated it shrinks to fit and adheres to the structure. It also makes the finished product look really nice. Finally I had a beautiful looking glider that had a working rudder and elevator. Very cool.
So the excitement continued and I had to get out a test flight. The instructions talked about trimming the model so I sent it on a short hand tossed glide and made a few corrections and called it good. Of course you are supposed to do this on a calm day when you can tell trim from wind but I was in a hurry. Off I went to the most suitable test range, a deserted cow pasture. Deserted means overgrown with weeds and the occasional Mesquite tree. Still I must get out a test flight, windy day or not. So I send this beautiful red and white symbol of freedom high into the air, propelled into flight by the most advanced rubber tubing available. Now quick transition to radio control. Who has time to wait for a friend to help when you can do both jobs, right? Now up she went and it was time for the first turn, but wait it is drifting to the right toward the Mesquite tree (stupid trim) so now back hard left but it is descending too fast (stupid trim) so I need to pull back on the stick to recover from certain disaster!……..CREEK, POP, WHOOP, SCREECH and inverted and diving for the ground and into the scrub brush at terminal velocity. Maiden flight…crash landing.
The post flight inspection revealed a twist in the wing. The twist was built into the design and wasn’t apparent because the manufacturing process (that’s me) wasn’t patient enough to wait for things to dry and do things in order and use the right material and follow the directions…why would I do that? It takes too long, right?
What is the point? I hope it is obvious but here goes. We can get in a big hurry and make our own plans, get ahead of drying glue and not follow instructions but instead believe lies. The enemy and our selfish desires can contort, twist and destroy the best we have to offer. When we believe in the lies it is like a twist in our wing. When the pressure comes we will crash. God wants to get all the twists out of us. The Holy Spirit is here to perform that amazing bone from marrow and spirit from soul surgery to remove the lies. Our path to maturity, fullness is on the assembly board of love. His love, His kind and gentle hands, mold us into a potter’s masterpiece. It isn’t a molding of behavior but a molding of believing. We aren’t pressed into better morals but better understanding (morals will follow). We aren’t learning a new list but freedom from lists. God is shaping us with His wisdom and the knowledge of Him. We aren’t focusing on self but intently staring at Jesus. We aren’t holding onto or getting rid the stuff of ourself but desperately clinging to Him. He is the perfect model builder. He wrote the instructions. He already sees the end product. He actually is crafting the beginning and the end at the same time. His patience is eternal when ours is selfish.
I want to let you in on a secret. When you trust God this way you will be amazed at what He can do in two years. Here is what is more amazing, divinely inspiring actually, you won’t believe what He can do in a month. Wait, this one is really really good, you won’t believe what He can do in a moment! One day with Him is better than a thousand days elsewhere. Our abundance or lack of patience has nothing to do with His ability to reveal a perfect creation. It is His eternal patience and love that we trust in. Our running out ahead of Him or trying to hold Him back only makes a big sticky mess. Our trust in Him is our finished product. Our dependence on Him is our gift to Him. Our submission to His love is our maiden flight. Under His control the sky isn’t the limit, it is the first step!
One thought on “The Glider”
This post brought back memories of my brother building models at our kitchen table. The glue, that messy glue. Even when we think we have all the right “pieces” in our lives, I love how His supernatural superglue connects and holds things together perfectly. Thanks for the post, Lance!