Flying the Plane
has always been a big part of my life. I was raised Baptist and
my family went to church just about every time the doors opened.
I was saved and baptized when I was twelve, but I didn't find
true faith until I was fourteen. That is when my mother died;
that is when I found God.
the years I have been better at religion sometimes and sometimes
not, but my faith has never wavered. When I first went off to
college I remember thinking, now I don't have to go to church.
For a month or two I didn't. I just slept in on Sunday morning.
Then I began to miss it, and after a while I really missed it.
I like the way going to church makes me feel and I like the people
I meet in church. So I started back up again with my attendance.
During that time I was neglectful of my religion but I never lost
I got married and had children I was even more regular in my attendance
at church. I had now become Methodist and I really liked the church
we had picked. Plus I thought it was important that my children
be raised in the church. You learn a lot of good lessons for life
I have been thinking more and more about my faith. I don't talk
about it a lot, but it is there. As a rule I don't debate politics
and religion so my friends and I don't have deep discussions about
those subjects. I think a lot of people are like that.
friend of mine asked me one time why I didn't talk about religion
much. I didn't have a good answer. I guess it is because I don't
have a strong fixation on religion. I see flaws in all the Christian
branches. Still I have to have faith. It is what keeps me going.
is the center of my faith. Having Him in charge of my life helps
keep me sane. I also cling to the concept of an afterlife. If
this is all there is then what has been the point! Plus I want
to be reunited with those who have died before me.
got me to thinking about all this is a story my Sunday School
teacher told this week (yes, I do go to Sunday School even though
that makes me sound like I am ten). The story went like this.
There was an airplane flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta. Halfway
across the country the plane hit turbulence. The plane rocked
and shook and swayed up and down. It seemed to go on forever.
of the passengers were scared silly except for one little girl.
She was about eight and she sat in her seat and colored in a coloring
book while all this was going on. She never cried, she never asked
anyone for reassurance, she just sat calmly throughout the turmoil.
The man across the aisle from her was stunned by her composure.
the storm was over and things had calmed down the man asked the
little girl why she hadn't been afraid during the ruckus that
had been part of their trip. The little girl looked him in the
eye and said, "My daddy is the pilot and he's flying this
plane. He's taking us home."
basically sums up my faith. It doesn't get any simpler than that.
K. Cooper was born in South Carolina and now lives in Georgia.
He is familiar to people living in the middle Georgia area as
the "entertainment man" since his entertainment reviews
run in newspapers and are shown on television there. His short
stories have been used as commentary on Georgia Public Radio.
He also keeps active appearing as an after dinner speaker for
has lived an exceptionally interesting life and portions of it
are contained in his first book Journey of a Gentle Southern
Man. The journey continued in Chances and Choices.
first two books, Journey of a Gentle Southern Man and Chances
and Choices, were reprinted and published by Mercer University
Press in July 2004. His third book Halfway Home was published
by Mercer University Press in October 2004.
fourth book, released in 2006, is The Bookbinder.
his website, or email
Jackie K. Cooper