UpBeat Spiritual Living: Doing The Impossible, Part 1
© 2012 Kebba Buckley Button. World Rights Reserved
Today’s piece, and tomorrow’s, Part 2, reframe a topic I offered in my all-beliefs blog, UpBeat Living, last month (UpBeat Living: Doing What You Can’t, http://wp.me/pw4HM-5x).
Have you ever found yourself doing the impossible? Of course you have. Think of the impossible situations you have been in, as you read these two stories of others’ experiences. Can you feel the Divine presence in these events?
On April 2, John and Helen Collins were flying back home to Wisconsin from Florida in their twin-engine Cessna. John, 81, owned several planes and was the knowledgeable pilot. Helen, 80, was an experienced passenger, having travelled with John for decades. Helen was recovering from heart surgery and had very little stamina. Six miles from their destination, John had a heart attack and passed out, over the controls. Helen contacted the Sheriff’s Department for help. With John slumped over the controls, how did she contact the Sherriff? What filled her with the knowledge, physical strength, and courage to press on? A local pilot flew up to the Collins’s plane to give Helen radio instructions so she could land the Cessna. With help, she did what she was unable to do the day before: she landed the plane. She sustained only bruises. See the nearly intact plane in the MSNBC report: http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/03/11001564-80-year-old-woman-lands-plane-after-husband-passes-out .
East of Tucson, where the Santa Catalina Mountains meet the Rincon Mountains, there is a beautiful area called Redington Pass. In season, water rushes over the rocks at the Tanque Verde Falls there. In dry times, the boulders at the Falls have a smooth, eery beauty, shaped by the erosive power of the seasonal flows. Hiking in this area is very popular, but the trails are hazardous, due to a type of rock that crumbles easily underfoot. A woman arrived at the top of the dry Falls with a new companion who insisted they climb down the dry rocks of the Falls. She asked, “but won’t we have trouble getting back over these huge, smooth boulders?” Her companion insisted it would be fine. At dusk, they were trapped adjacent to a 300-foot chasm, unable to reverse their downslope climb. The companion leaped across the chasm to catch a fire hose that was bolted to the opposite side. The woman climbed out using ½-inch ledges that, the week before, she would not have believed could save her. She had been strangely moved to take a technical rock-climbing class only the week before. The next week, she read that a hiker had died at Redington Pass, because the trail fell away from under his steps. Someone had died where the woman did what she would have thought she could not.
What these stories have in common is that the people somehow had solutions when urgent needs arose. In the case of the woman taking over the airplane, God gave her what she needed right at the time: courage, information, and people with the means to get her and that plane to the ground safely. Give us this day our daily bread. In the case of the woman hiker, God prepared her the week before, giving her a “chance opportunity” to take a technical rock climbing class only days before she found herself in peril, with a dangerous companion. Deliver us from evil. She did not know she was being prepared to save herself.
In Scripture, God has said many times that he will always be with us. When you think of the “impossible” in your life, ask yourself, where was God in each situation? You were never alone. And you never will be.
● Rev. Kebba Buckley Button is the author of the 2012 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core.
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