A New Job and a Sermon

I got in the mood to write today, so I thought I'd fill you in on the recent big news here. While I'm at it, I might get in a short sermon on the end. Missionary pilots need to practice that, you know... ;-)

Today is Sunday. I love Sundays. They are a little taste of the rest we will have in heaven. There is plenty of work to do while we're still here, though. I have felt for a long time that a big part of the work I have to do here involves flying airplanes. I've been very happy with the job I've had for the last year here in Troutdale working on airplanes, and have spent a lot of time recently studying in hopes of becoming a flight instructor. That is the way most professional pilots move into work which requires more experience. One day at work several weeks ago, a pilot/mechanic who I have worked with in the past came in and told us about a new job he was taking. I mentioned that I was studying to become an instructor. He reminded me that he had told me several times in the past about the job which he had used to transition to being a professional pilot. They really need a mechanic right now, he said.

I didn't sleep very well that night. Although I'd known about the job for some time, it suddenly "clicked" with me that it might be exactly the right job for me. Maybe it just hadn't been the right time before... I didn't wait long to call. Yes, they needed a mechanic, and yes, as a pilot I could possibly do some flying as well. The company is called Bergman Photographic Services, and they use a fleet of five diverse airplanes for aerial photography. The next Saturday I went to their office in Sellwood and we spent several hours talking. I took home an employee handbook to peruse, and told my boss about the possibility on Monday. Last Wednesday I took the day off of work and drove to Sellwood again. From there I went with one of the brothers who own the business to Aurora, where they have a new hangar which houses that half of the operation. I went along on a maintenance flight which was also a kind of evaluation of my abilities. It went well. We shook hands that evening and the next day I officially "gave notice" at my current job.

I'm pretty excited. Both the maintenance and the flying will be excellent experience which will mesh almost perfectly with the goal of missionary aviation. I will begin working for them at the beginning of December, and will move right into the on-staff mechanic position which has been vacant for the last year. I will also begin training for the type of flying they do, beginning in their Cessna 180 and hopefully eventually working my way into flying nearly full-time in all of their airplanes. These include a J-3 Cub, Cessna 210, Cessna 310 (twin), and a turboprop Commander.

Since the job is in Aurora, we will need to move soon to avoid many hours of commuting. Although we all love the house we are in now, we are enthusiastically looking for a new place. Sarah is pleased with the developments, although no one really enjoys the idea of packing boxes!

Also, happy ThanksGiving! I am so thankful for so many things! May you realize the many things you have to thank God for also.

Once again I have to say I love Sundays. This morning we listened to a sermon on the subject of "Heaven." It wasn't the best sermon I've ever heard. In fact, it was a bit of an odd juxtaposition, as the sermon covered some of the possible "physical" aspects of heaven: "streets paved with gold," precious stones, "endless light," and "no more sea." I found my attention wandering. Although we're all a bit attached to this world, our culture of materialism seemed to have insinuated itself very incongruously into this sermon. It was not that the sermon was technically inaccurate so much as that the emphasis was misplaced diametrically from where it belonged. As we all know from so many celebrities' lives, one can live a tortured hell of an existence while living in a place with "streets paved with gold." In fact, if happiness has anything to do with wealth, our society should be literally "the happiest place on earth."

We were visiting a church we don't usually attend, so I don't know if the worship after the sermon is the normal order during their services, but it couldn't have been more appropriate. The songs were powerful... Not "I Have a Mansion" or some other foolishness continuing to compare heaven to the marred beauties of this earth, but true worship of God and his greatness, an expression of our love for Him, and a desire to see His glory. As the lethargy in the room lifted, I felt like those few minutes of worship were a far clearer foresight of heaven than the preaching had offered. I thought of the fact that for all of time and beyond there rises around the throne of God the refrain of "Holy... Holy... Holy..." and that I was, in my poor way, joining that song.

This is why I love Sundays. I felt a rest then... A rest in the exhilaration of giving praise with heart and mind which is accepted by a sovereign God, but which can never begin to be enough. I thought of heaven. I thought of being at rest... being truly at home. I've never felt quite at rest here. I've moved a lot. The Bible mentions that we are "strangers" and, in fact "aliens" in this world. We don't belong. No matter if we spend our lives building a home to live in, and root our feet firmly in the soil of this earth, we can NOT stay, and we can NOT take it with us when we go. NOTHING. Even if we still have memories of this world, they will be like the misty memories of a half-remembered dream, fading as quickly as morning fog before the heat of a blazing sun. Only once have I wanted to "go home" and had a picture of a place on this earth in my mind. After backpacking across Europe and being on the move almost constantly for six months, never having a place to rest for long, I longed to return to my family in Oregon. I was tired in a sense far beyond the physical. There was such a relief of rest when I finally walked through that doorway again and into "my room." I imagine this is only the slightest inkling of what it must be like to finally pass the threshold of "death" and really and truly go Home. It will be an endless rest from being a wandering stranger for the years of this terrestrial journey.

Until then... there is work to do. Give Thanks!


My Latest Project

A shirt for Abby! And it actually fits!