Pastor Scott Hannon
St. John Lutheran Church Amherst, NY
“Daddy, can you make a paper airplane?” Molly asked.
“Wait… Can I?! CAN I?! Of course I can!”
I spent the next few minutes crafting and creating the greatest paper airplane ever made. I made precision folds and crimped the paper at all the right points. The nose of the plane ended in a sharp edge that would surely cut through the air. I wrote “Molly” on one wing and “Daddy” on the other. And then, I threw it.
The moment the airplane left my hand I knew it was going to be a good flight. My paper creation flew across the room with grace and poise. It flew until it couldn’t fly anymore as it crashed against the far wall. I smiled at Molly. I was pleased that the first paper airplane I made for her worked. So many of my days are filled with errs and blunders, it felt great to have a win – especially a win in front of my biggest fan.
And so, you can imagine my surprise when Molly reacted with pity and disappointment.
“It’s okay, Daddy. You can’t do everything.”
“Wait… What?! WHAT?! Didn’t you see that! Of course I can!”
“Daddy,” Molly said sympathetically as she patted my knee, “it crashed.”
This encounter with my daughter has me thinking of my encounters with our God.
Molly asked me to do something. I did it. And she was disappointed. She couldn’t see that her request was answered. She didn’t perceive that what she wanted actually happened.
Sometimes I think we get that way with God.
We pray. We pray for life. We pray for love. We pray for healing. We pray for peace. And then we sit around and wait for answers. On occasion (I suspect more often than we’d like) we sit around only to perceive that our prayer has gone unheard.
But has it?
Or in our desire to have life perfect and pain-free have we missed out on God’s amazing and loving response to our prayer?
This past week I had the unique opportunity to simply go to church. No preaching. No guitar. No leadership. Just ride the pews and soak it all in. A really cool thing happened in that worship. I was reminded of what God does for us. And… I was reminded that I often overlook some of God’s greatest acts.
In that worship I heard God say, “You are forgiven.”
The worship leaders read words of hope and love from scripture.
The pastor announced Good News for a sinner like me.
I was welcomed to a table where I received grace.
And to top it all off, I was sent forth with blessing.
After that worship I couldn’t help but reflect on my paper airplane experience with Molly. She had her hopes set so high for this airplane that she missed the fact that it flew across the room. Sometimes I set my hopes so high for God that I miss God’s saving, loving and redeeming acts that daily occur in my life.
I can’t help but wonder if after worship where God forgives, calls, empowers, equips, feeds and blesses if God shouts from heaven in response to our prayers…
“Did you see that?! Of course I can!”
In the Way,
For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Scott’s past columns, please visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.