Of Kites and Thorns

March 8, 2016
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This past Sunday, my family and I went to a local park for the specific purpose of flying my four year old daughter’s kite that she received for her birthday the day before. Along the way, I fielded question after question from her regarding the lack of evidence of wind, and whether or not the kite was going to fly. To be honest, it did not look promising to me either, but I did not want to take away from her excitement so I feigned confidence.

It was a gorgeous day, and the park was pretty packed. We parked the car and walked through the crunchy lumpiness of the large field to the spot where I had decided, for no reason, was the best spot for the kite’s maiden voyage.   My daughter and I stood in the field, each with different expectations. She expected the kite to take off in glorious flight. I expected people to walk by and laugh at the guy trying to fly a kite in 0 mph winds.

There is a certain kind of hopelessness one feels when trying to convince a kite to take flight in little wind. Standing there with a kite, string, expectations, knowledge and a little girl confused as to why, “Daddy can’t make the kite go.” I had all of the things I could possess, but even so I was still dependent on something much bigger than me.  No matter how high I threw the kite into the air, the nose tilted to the ground and fell to the weeds.  Over and over this happened until we were so frustrated we ended up just standing there, looking up into the sky as if we were searching for answers. With the kite lying at our feet, my daughter was starting to be visibly disappointed. I told her I would try again and found that walking into the “wind” provided enough lift for the kite to actually catch some air and bob up and down 3 feet above our head. All of the sudden, the wind picked up and took the kite higher and higher into the air.

The kite flew for several minutes.  I was able to hand the string off to my daughter and I explained that we needed to keep the string tight and that if we didn’t follow the kite’s direction, it would fall.  She held it for a while until the wind started fading.   As they wind slowed, the kite dropped. Rather than reeling in the kite string using the spool, moving my feet, and adjusting my position according to the kite’s command, I tried to command the kite to fit my desires by pulling the kite toward my position while letting the string collect at my feet. Eventually, the kite fell to the ground a few feet from me. I began collecting the kite string from the ground but was only able to collect a few feet before running into a problem.

I didn’t realize that I was standing in a patch of thorns, and the kite string collected at my stationary feet was wrapped and tangled in the grip of sharp brambles. The more I pulled, the more it knotted. I reached down to release the string from the stubborn grip of the thorns and they punctured my fingertips as well as frayed the string that connected me to the kite. I ended up spending more time fighting the knots and thorns than I did flying the kite. The consequences of my poor decision were now consuming my time. I could no longer fly the kite. I could only deal with the mess I had created. If I had only followed the kite’s lead and direction rather than trying to force it into my preference, I would be enjoying the initial purpose of our trip to the park.

Here are some questions for all of us to consider.  What are you doing in your daily walk with Christ?  Are you trying to direct God’s will and make it fit into something you are comfortable with?  Are you holding onto somethings that are less than God’s best for you?  Are you ignoring it when your heart is convicted regarding some aspect of your life?  Are you ignoring scripture or refusing to acknowledge that you are called for His purpose?  Or, are you positioning yourself according to His call?  Are you leaning on His understanding, and trusting in His promises, knowing that, thankfully, His ways are not our ways, and that He is forever faithful?

Let Him lead you.  Follow His voice.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”  John 10:27

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