on Trust

by Jacqueline Mullen Niederberger

(Fall, 1996)

  Chuck bought a two seater Cessna airplane in one hundred and forty pieces. He spent every spare moment of one year putting together his dream of a lifetime. One glorious fall day, when the leaves were sparkling god and glowing russet, Chuck announced, AIt is finished! Would you like a ride in my beauty?@ There was no hesitation on my part, for I loved to fly (although I had only been up in commercial airliners and had no knowledge of tow seaters). ASure,@ I said. AWhat a day to fly!@

  We arrived at the small airport and I gulped a little as I looked at the seemingly fragile craft before me. Chuck unhitched the plane from its tie downs, checked the oil, gas, wind velocity and had me hop in the second seat. He got the Ago ahead@ from the flight tower, but the engine refused to turn over. I began to get a little edgy. AGive the prop a few turns,@ Chuck bellowed to a friend standing beside the Cessna. Then the motor roared, the propeller whirled and we began to rumble down the runway. It sounded like we were dragging a thousand tin cans tied together as we ambled down the concrete. We are never going to get off the ground, I thought, as Chuck pulled the plane miraculously into the clear blue sky. I clutched the edge of the seat with both hands and held my breath as my stomach did flip flops. This was not anything like the flying I knew! At one thousand feet it seemed as though we were standing still, but the throbbing vibrating of the engine assured me we were flying. We circled a patch of sparkling ocean near the airport and I looked to see which way land was (in case I needed to swim).

  The noise was deafening. We were unable to speak to each other. After what seemed like an eternity, Chuck motioned to me that we were going to land. My hands still clutched the seat and I nodded my head numbly.

  Safely on the ground again, I was amazed that I had trusted my life to this flimsy bit of aluminum and fiberglass and in the flying and building expertise of my friend. How often I did not trust my Heavenly Father to guide me through the dark skies of difficult situations, but insisted on doing it myself. How many times had I worried about paying the bills, about decisions concerning my sons, job changes, living relocations, and a hundred other daily situations when I should have given them to my Father. He always makes a way where there is no way. Didn=t I know that God was to be trusted more than relatives or well-meaning friends, that He cares for me intimately in every situation, that no one loves me nor will guide me rightly as my Heavenly Father. How foolish I am and how misplaced my trust.


"Blessed are those who, when grace is withdrawn, find no consolation in themselves, but only continuing tribulation and thick darkness and yet do not despair; but, strengthened by faith, they endure courageously, convinced that they do indeed see Him who is invisible."

St. John of Karpathos


[Jacqueline Niederberger is a member of St. John Chrysostom Mission, Clermont, NJ.]


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