Did God send a flock of ducks to save a pair of daredevils?
Several times in my life I have known without a doubt that the
Lord’s protective hand was over me. I look back on the circumstances
and know He was relaying His love and waiting patiently for me to discover
His purpose for my life.
It was Thanksgiving Day around 3:00 P.M.
My friend Casey had just finished work and dropped by my house. Knowing
that his parents were out of town and cueing in on his comment that he
would probably be eating a TV dinner for his Thanksgiving meal, I
invited him to eat with my family. I think he had been secretly hoping
for an invitation.
Dinner was several hours away, and we decided that the best
way to pass the time was to rent a small plane and go flying. We both
had our private pilot’s license and were attending a local college in
pursuit of a career in aviation.
In no time at all, we were at the airport getting the plane
fueled. After a quick weather briefing and pre-flight check, we took to
the sky. The air was smooth and the visibility was incredible—a
wonderful way to enjoy God’s creation. We headed away from town toward
Wyoming and soon found what we were looking for, uninhabited land and a
long winding river. Casey reached for the controls. “My plane,”
he said and began descending toward the river to get a closer look.
Leveling off at about 15 feet, we wound through the countryside.
Enjoying the view and each other’s company, we laughed and
teased each other. We were close friends and got along well. I believe
it’s because we were so much alike and both very competitive. But
sometimes our competitive natures lead us into some interesting
situations, and today was no exception!
“Hey, is that as close as you can get? You’re not a real
pilot. My plane,” I taunted in my calmest voice. Casey released the
controls, and I nosed the plane over, inching closer toward the water.
He shot me a stoic look.
“Mikey, I’m losing respect for you; I thought you were a good
pilot. My plane.”
We went round and round with our improvised tests of skills,
trying to outdo each other and prove who had the tougher nerves. When
the sun began to set, we decided to head back to the airport.
“Hey, Mikey, check that out,” Casey said, pointing to a small
lake. At the end of the lake, there was a wooded area with a break in
the tree line just wide enough for our plane to fly through. I knew
what he was thinking and approvingly gave the thumbs-up. In perfect
“fighter-jet” fashion, we dove out of the sky toward the lake, leveling
off just feet above the ground. The excitement seemed to build as our
air speed increased. This was our grand finale to a great day’s
flight! Everything was looking great, and we were just about to the
shore line at top speed.
“Watch out, Case!” I yelled as a flock of ducks took flight
directly in our path. Casey yanked back on the controls, and we climbed
rapidly out of the way.
“That stinks. They ruined my perfect approach,” Casey said
“Yup, tough breaks, Buddy. You had your chance. Now watch the
master,” I shot back laughing as I took over the controls and banked
steeply over the trees for another pass. We both looked down and,
instantly sobered, saw the power lines running directly through the
trees and the gap that we had almost flown through. I know Casey had
seen them too because we both looked at each other as if to say, “We
almost killed ourselves!”
The short 30-minute flight back to the airport seemed like an
eternity. We were silent the rest of the trip home. How could we
not have seen those power lines? The ducks had saved us! Why were they
there? That never happens.
That evening before Thanksgiving dinner, I bowed my head and
prayed to the God who had intervened and saved our lives. Thank
You, Lord, for giving me another opportunity to be a living example of
Your love and grace. Amen.
Michael B. Sales writes from Broomfield, Colorado.