Up, Up and Away

Thump! The deflated soccer ball landed in front of me. With great disappointment, the two brothers looked at me as the oldest said, “Teacher, come play with us.”

I noticed that the ball was beyond repair. I thought about my youth and what I did, coming up with new ideas for games. I asked them if they knew how to fold paper airplanes and was met with two frowny faces. “No, what’s that?” they asked.

I went inside to my office and grabbed some paper from the printer.

The three of us then sat on the porch, and with great enthusiasm and anticipation, the boys watched as I folded my first paper airplane in over two decades. I was a bit rusty but soon remembered what to do. I could feel the boys’ eyes laser-focused on my hands as the white Concorde took shape before them. We stood up, and I launched the jet into the air. The boys gasped in amazement as it gained momentum through the air. It had not even landed when they screamed, “Fold me one. Fold me one!”

I handed them each a piece of paper and showed them the folding procedure. I watched the muddy-fingered “Wright” brothers meticulously create their first flying machines and launch their jets into the wind with all their might. Their faces lit up as if they performed a miracle.

Their jets soared through the air and landed gracefully. In the meantime, more children had gathered around us, and I folded more than a dozen jets to accommodate them. The rest of the afternoon was filled with joy and laughter, and I could hear the brothers giving folding instructions to their friends.

For the next couple of hours, I watched two young Khmer village boys transform into fighter jet pilots, just as God wants us to transform from living in darkness into light. Our time together that afternoon reminded me of how God wants us to follow His instructions to gain victory over sin.

I pray that by this experience, the boys will learn how to follow God’s instructions as He bids them, “Follow Me.”

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