A Brown Pelican glides effortlessly down the beachfront against a stiff south wind. To watch, one might easily deduce flight to be absolutely easy, a simple thing. This awkward, bigheaded, non-airworthy-looking bird doesn’t seem to move a muscle as it sometimes skims inches over the surface of the water, floating over the breakers like no other, to unbelievable distances, flapping slowly only after long intervals.
It seems as if all I would have to do to accomplish the same is stand on the dune and dexterously position a couple flaps of cardboard under my arms. Voila, liftoff! No wonder the bird’s face seems set in a permanent smile.
How is it that a man like me so often dreams of unaided flight? To soar, to fly, to lift above the uneven earth, its yawning valleys, its prodigious heights?
For now, though, I am a kite, not a bird: I require both string and tail. The string is my humanity, my ‘creatureliness’ created of my heavenly Father, the part that holds me back to allow me lift. But the wind of the Holy Spirit gives me to rise in concerted force, leveraged with my very humanity. And all is held in balance, stabilized, by the tail that is Jesus Christ. I know that’s a strange designation for the Lord of my life, but it seems fit to the analogy.
Just the same, my life as a kite is only a foretaste. We were made to fly. Some day…
~~RGM, from an earlier journal entry while at
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, Jupiter Island FL