If I have to own things (and, well, I do), I like them to be things with stories behind them. So I am often inspired by major milestones in my life to go shopping. Weird? Maybe. Materialistic? I hope not. The things I buy are often practical (like the watch I bought when I was getting my pilot’s license), sometimes cheap (like the pocket compass I bought to celebrate my 4.0 in my first semester of A&P school)…I intend for them to be things that remind me of where I’ve come from and where I’m going. They’re also great conversation starters, and I love few things more than talking to people about where I’m going and of the One who’s sending me.
This week, I got my Airframe license. I’m halfway to becoming a certificated aircraft mechanic, which is halfway(ish) to becoming qualified to be a missionary pilot. It was a solid year’s worth of schooling, a few weeks of really intense study (you can see the stack of books here), then nine grueling hours of questions, answers, and skill demonstrations. Well, ok. The last three were grueling. The first six were pretty breezy. But still. It was kind of a big deal. It’s the first really big step toward the ultimate goal: mission aviation. (The first big step would have been my pilot’s license, except I got that before I knew I was going to be a missionary pilot.) Many of you have probably heard the story (for those who haven’t, I’m sure it will be the subject of a future post), and so you know I feel particularly called to Papua New Guinea. Shortly after I got called, I had to go to traffic court to get a brakelight ticket dismissed, and a young man in front of me was wearing an Adidas track jacket emblazoned with the flag of PNG. It’s been over two years and I’ve never been able to get that jacket out of my head.
So last night, on a whim, I searched for that jacket. eBay, as it turns out, is a magical place, full of long discontinued items at sensational prices. And thanks to that marvelous “Buy It Now!” button, my shiny new track jacket is on its way from Pennsylvania, hopefully arriving just in time for the cold front moving in early next week. Every time I wear it, I’ll be reminded again of where I’ve been, where I’m going, and the One who is leading me every step of the way. Hopefully, everyone around me will too.