Soaring with God

John and I met in my yoga class in 2009.  After class, he walked over to thank me for the session.  As we chatted, I noticed his T-shirt which said “HAWAII – North Shore Glider Rides.”  We finished our conversation but as he was about to walk away, I blurted, “I like your T-shirt.  I lived in Hawaii for nine years.  I always wanted to go for a glider ride but never got around to it.”  He looked surprised.  I was a bit surprised that I’d even said anything since I don’t usually comment about T-shirts.  He responded:  “That’s what I do.  I fly gliders.  I’ll take you for a ride sometime if you want to go.”  I was intrigued.  He gave me his e-mail address.  Two weeks later, I went for my first glider ride.  The experience was powerful.  I processed the experience by writing the following reflection which I titled, “Soaring with God.”


A friend of mine is a pilot.  He recently took me for my first glider ride at a small glider port with a grass strip out in the country.  This was something I’d always wanted to do, especially during the years I lived in Hawaii, but the opportunity never arose.

Since a glider has no engine of its own, it’s attached to a rope and pulled up into the sky by a tow plane.  Then at 3,000 feet, the glider pilot pulls a lever to release the tow plane.  To my surprise, my friend put me in the front seat.  He sat behind me and controlled everything dealing with take-off, flight, and landing.  But since I was in the front seat, it was my job to release the tow plane.  This was effortless, even fun for me — not scary at all.

Gliding in the blue sky was very peaceful.  I enjoyed the views of the countryside and the glider port below us.  At one point, my friend tapped me on the back and informed me that I was flying the glider; he wasn’t doing anything.  This was a shock to me because I didn’t think I was doing anything.  Later, he asked, “What’s our altitude?”  I immediately looked at the altimeter and responded, “2,000 feet.”  He chuckled in a way that seemed to say, “See how quickly you catch on?”

At home, as I pondered what I’d experienced in the glider, I realized the Lord had given me several important messages for my spiritual life.  First, just as I effortlessly released the tow plane, I need to release the various attachments in my life.  My major attachment at this point is to my spiritual director.  In a way, he’s my “tow plane.”  I count on him to help me ascend toward God.  But now I see that I’m safe; it’s okay to let go and put my trust completely in God.  It’s fun!  Life is an adventure!

Second, my pilot is the Holy Spirit.  Although I cannot see Him, I am never alone.  He gives me the courage to fly with confidence.  Whether or not I have a sense that I’m controlling the course of my life, He is the One who is ultimately guiding everything.  He is flying and He will bring me home safely.

Finally, I understood that God is pleased with the progress I’ve been making in my spiritual life:  He is smiling at me — even chuckling — because He’s proud to see me “catching on.”  This is an important message for me because I tend to focus too much on my mistakes or on how far I still have to go.

This experience has given me much peace and consolation.  The timing is perfect, too, because my spiritual director is out of town for five weeks.  I am not afraid because I KNOW I am not alone — I am soaring with God.


John with glider at Garner gliderport, 2009


  1. Very interesting! I heard about you from Leslie Drago – I have put you in my favorites so as not to forget to “visit” you and see what is happening. Thanks!

    • Beautiful analogy and story on how you and John met! Sounds like a special kind of bonding that is meant to be.

      • Thanks! Definitely!

  2. beautiful!

  3. Beautiful story. It sounds amazing.

  4. I think your blog is lovely! So I’ve nominated you for the “One Lovely Blog Award.”

    • Thank you so much! How fun! I totally agree with you: blogging is about community, about finding and appreciating each other out here in the cyber-world. Peace to you, my dear.

      • You are very welcome. Have a wonderful weekend!

      • I’m going to work on my “acceptance” post so I can nominate others. 🙂

  5. I Very much enjoyed reading of your experience and the analogies you extrapolated. I have learned so much from you this semester, and I attempt to carry these teachings with me each day. Thank you.

    • Thanks, Phillip! Nice to see you here on our blog. 🙂

  6. […] Soaring with God […]

  7. Thank you!

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