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Topic: Directions (02/02/04)
TITLE: Good Sense of Direction
By Linda Germain
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Sunday morning, a handsome and multitalented man waves to me from the Eagle's nest. This aptly named place, high up in the back of the new sanctuary, is where he presides over the business end of video and sound production. Smiling, he returns quickly to the task at hand, unaware that his strength, integrity, ability and wit are an inspiration and comfort to me.
It seems only yesterday that I could push him down and sit on him. Technically, he was not my "womb-mate", since we occupied that nurturing space at different times, but we were certainly partners on that roller coaster ride through childhood. He is the one who "ain't heavy - he's my brother."
My slight edge in age made it possible to be the first to obtain that coveted license, the one that paves the way to transportation independence. Amazingly, there was no jealousy from my sidekick. He was just happy that one of us could legally drive left seat. Anyway, his strong forte was navigation. Before his feet could touch the floorboard he seemed blessed with some kind of internal tracking device not standard issue to the rest of us. Our family was fascinated by his uncanny sense of direction. He remembered every place we ever lived and how to get there. Who needed a map? We had our own little Radar O'Brother.
You just could not lose this guy, which was cause for some embarrassing moments to his teenage sibling. Many a young suitor when challenged, had no answer to, "And just what are your intentions towards my sister?" In retrospect, that protectiveness is endearing. There is some speculation that he was on Dad's payroll.
Through the years, as we traveled different roads of our own choosing, there was barely time to check in, or check up. Each of us seemed to wander around in our separate wildernesses. Like bumper-car drivers, we exhausted ourselves in intense steering, trying to avoid more dents. Sometimes "effort" masquerades as "purpose." So much concentration makes us miss the signs pointing to the right road, the one God chose for us from the beginning. Consequently, a lot of time is wasted backtracking, repairing, and even running out of gas.
By our third decade we began to see the light at the end of the tunnel and for once it was not a train coming the other way. A beautiful and Godly mate took her place beside my dear brother. Her unfailing love and faith literally gave him wings. The years he spent employed in work for which he was well trained did not satisfy his dream of flying. Encouragement from his supportive wife inspired him to pursue his heart's desire. Convinced of the Lord's guidance, and with two babies, they kept rolling through potholes and detours and muddy roads until his hours of aeronautical investment finally paid off.
Hired as a corporate pilot for a large company, he landed in the cockpit of an amazing state-of-the-art jet airplane. By letting the Lord direct, he had found his calling and happily continued to soar for nearly two decades, staying well grounded in God's Word and never compromising his beliefs. He gained a reputation as a sober, trustworthy, loyal employee who flew like an ace and could land on a dime. If my competent brother was in the left seat, you could depend on who was in the control tower.
This playmate from childhood, who used to hang on to the back of my tricycle as we zoomed down the sidewalk, still has that inborn compass. His wing and a prayer adventures are witness to his sense of direction, which is founded on this premise: simply relinquish command. His eyes twinkle when he admits," If God is my CO-pilot, I am in trouble."
Nearly a quarter of a century later, he is still married to his main cheerleader who is even more beautiful and still standing right beside him with steel magnolia strength. The children, now in college, learned first hand that many times turbulence is of our own making, therefore it is more prudent to file a flight plan than to fly off in all directions.
Every Sunday morning when I look up, it is with thanks for my brother, by birth and in Christ. He is my hero who, even in the throes of life's inevitable and painful problems, has not lost the thing for which he was first famous: finding the WAY.