“Well, that’s it for summer”, Eli said with a sigh. The days of swimming and softball, and trail hikes are gone until at least May.
His annual search for things to do, always surrenders to the understanding that school comes first. It is certainly not that he disliked school…. just the opposite. He loved the idea of new challenges, and he devoured most every study. Actually, to the dismay of is teacher, Mrs. Logan. Her issue was one of feeding that hunger. He seemed to be the first one done with everything, and was looking for desert..
It was certain that he could read well for his age, and perhaps better than most at math.
When it came time for choosing individual projects, he was told, along with others, that he could select what he wanted and materials would be provided.
The teacher was not quite ready for Eli’s list. It went something like;
A “class A” box of Lego’s. A small 6 volt battery and an aircraft fighter kit He would somehow dig up the small model airplane engine, a miniature searchlight assembly, and a roll of wiring. After all he did have a Grandpa.
He knew that every serious project had to begin with a plan, which starts with extensive drawings. Eli would arrive early and stay late to complete these; along with time at home on the internet.
Other students had shown great progress; however, most all less ambitious and without serious planning.
Mrs. Foster observed; “Eli, I really like what you are doing, but the other students are leaving you behind. Eli responded with a saying that he heard somewhere; “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” She returned; “Why don’t we just leave that to the Romans?” His next response then might have been “Just Do It”, but he kept it to himself. The last the day to begin construction finally arrived.. Things moved quickly. as he referred to his drawings. So quickly, that it drew the attention of others who were finished, or nearly so. They were amazed at the speed of his efforts and his faithfulness to the plan.
First, a building of some sort, then the battery powered lighted tower, and finally doors that opened and closed. At days end he stood back to survey his work. Viewers thought it was cool, but what was it for?
Eli, as he often did, went to sleep that night with a vision of the amazing occupant for this tricky building. It was to be an airplane. Not just any one, but one that could actually fly!
Grandpa had found the perfect engine, and the kit for the plane itself; A sleek (and very fast fighter) that could totally destroy the bad guys with the flick of a switch. He completed it, working long hours at home, that weekend.
Early Monday, he caught the bus to school with a package in his pack. First into the classroom he hurriedly installed the untested plane into the finished hangar.
The bell rang and everyone started to file into the room and went directly to Eli’s desk. Mrs Foster was the first to comment; “That’s amazing Eli, but what does it do?
Then with a press of a button, the light came on in the tower, the door separated slowly and the airplane came into view. There was applause from every corner. Another button was pushed as planned, but nothing happened. Eli was crushed that the plane just sat there. He thought, after reviewing things. ….Must be the wiring, and he was right.
Having made the connection, the plane roared into life and moved forward…then faster…. then toward the ceiling… then out the door into the sky.
Everyone ran to the door as Eli grinned and put the plane into a roll. He made a small bow to his absolutely astounded audience , and simply stated; “Thank you all for your interest. I did not do this on my own and soon; God, again willing, it will have two machine guns.
God corrected him, saying; “Keep your pants on young man; We may have built this together, but I do the bad guys alone !”. Eli remained silent.
P.S. The now “Cargo airplane”, is older and wiser…..It is flying needed supplies to Africa. (At least in theory)………….. the machine guns are now only for protection, and just shoot fake bullets.
God smiled at his creativity……..and respect; He gave him a thumbs up.