Giving Thanks

It's interesting that so many things seem to come together at just the right time.  Here I was, at Church again today, having a not particularly connected feeling day.  I've got a lot on my mind these days, with many things going on with the family, and some concerns over the upcoming college tuition situation, and getting back to a zero-debt status which I had been at prior to starting the RV-14.  I'm not much of a saver at times, so college for the kids is something that I'm totally unprepared for.  We gave them the best we could as they were growing up, but unfortunately for them, they're going to have to be hard working from this point out if they want to have a chance to do the same.  I also have decided that it's time to become a CFI, and I mean with very little delay if at all possible.  My youngest daughter will be able to solo an airplane in May, when she turns 16.  She will do that in the RV-14, which she already flies very well and would be able to solo in most likely, if there were no age restrictions.  But I became concerned that I would not be able to find a CFI that had enough RV time to be covered under our insurance without a lot of hassle or time wasted flying with them until they had the time.  I've been encouraged by our local CFI, who says I really need to continue on and pass along what I have learned over all these years of experience, and I had intended to some day become a CFI anyway, but with my daughters impending need for a CFI that will work with us, I decided now is the time.  My local CFI reminded me that there is something special about being able to share in the experience of teaching your daughter, and for the most part, I've taught her 50% of what she needs already, so it would be a waste not to keep going.

With that in mind, I set out to get past the hurdle of my Commercial rating.  One week of solid study, followed by one week of flying, and I'm now ready for my checkride tomorrow.  The Commercial rating is both easy, and hard, at the same time. The knowledge required is basically the same as the private, with a few more items added on, and the flying is basically just a few maneuvers but they must be flown with precision.  Being what I think is generally a fairly "good stick" I didn't think it would be any real problem, but when you look at the PTS requirements for the maneuvers, they become a little more complex to get just right.  It didn't take me too long to feel prepared, but, tomorrow is my Checkride, and you always wonder going in if you'll be able to perform as good on the ride as you did in practice.  So needless to say, things were weighing on me a bit this a.m. and keeping me from feeling in tune as I sat in Church.

Then I decided rather than wait for Communion time to try to jam in my prayers, I better get going on them because the list was pretty long this week.  I began my talk with God and in very short order I felt his complete presence...something I very much hope is something that you all are familiar with as well.  I've had a relationship with God for a long time, and when he speaks to me it is unmistakeable and overwhelming.  He stopped me from my rambling and clearly said to me: "Tim, I'm here with you, don't worry about everything, I've got it all covered.  I already know everything that you are going to ask.  I'm here."  It all just grounded me and became too overwhelming as I sat there with tears, and all I could say was "Thank You God."  That's all I could come up with as I tried to hide that I was looking like a fool with my wet eyes and sniffles.

It was interesting these were the words that I came up with because seemingly unrelated, we're about to enter Thanksgiving holiday week.  Something that I guess I've always kind of thought of as maybe fairly secular, although I believe the roots are not.  It reminded me that I have more than I could ever try to account for, that I need to be thankful for.  The people who've been there when I needed them, the family that I have, and every last thing that God has ever done or given to me.

A few minutes later as we were listening to the sermon, came this as one of the verses they brought up:

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Once again, I was floored.  For a person in my situation, with the weight I feel today, especially with tomorrow's Checkride in front of me, it blew me away that God chose to bring me these words today, right when I needed them.   Is it just me or is there more at work here than I thought?

Anyway, I couldn't help but share.  I sincerely hope that you the reader of my often mess of drivel will take the time to speak with God and bring him your prayers, petitions, and requests.  You may be surprised at what you hear back...

Update 11/21/2106: Not that it matters to anyone, but I did pass the Checkride!