Last Easter my kids received kites as a gift. I was nostalgic, remembering Easters from my childhood, when we took our kites to the school playground to fly them in the open space. My boys were not nearly as intrigued as I was though. They went to the school playground and left their kites behind.
So I grabbed one of the kites and set out to fly it myself. I opened the package and carefully tied on the string. There was a nice breeze, and I ran a little trying to get the kite to catch some wind. But it just flapped around looking pathetic. So I pulled it in close and found I’d tied the string in the wrong place.
Regretting my diligent knot tying of a few moments before, I forced myself to be patient as I carefully untied each one. Then I tied the string in the correct place and felt like I was ready to fly.
I held the kite out behind me and let it go as I ran into the wind. Again the kite bopped along the ground, never catching air.
At this point, I must have looked pathetic enough, my 12-year-old son came over to see if he could help. Eventually his friend followed. We had great teamwork with one of us tossing the kite up while the other ran holding the string. They ran faster than me, and for a minute I thought we’d have success. But still the kite couldn’t catch the wind.
My son has a knack for fixing things and finally he decided there had to be a design flaw. After looking at the kite closely he realized the rods had come undone. We shoved the kite together and he handed it back to me for one last go. But he and his friend had lost interest. They headed back to the house. I had to admit it was starting to feel hopeless.
With one last, stubborn attempt, I tossed the kite in the air and took off jogging. To my surprise, it instantly caught wind. It went higher and higher with little to no effort on my behalf. I shouted to my son and his friend who were half way back to the house at that point, and I could see their smiles as they saw the kite finally soaring high.
Our spiritual lives can be like flying that kite sometimes. We run and run trying to get our relationship with God off the ground. We struggle and toil.
We get to a point where it feels hopeless, and we’re ready to give up. We realize no amount of work and running is going to get us off the ground.
But if we can just release ourselves, be open like the wings of that kite finally were, that’s when we catch the wind and start to soar.
But how do we stay open in a world where so much demands our attention. Where bad news and hardship drag our spirit down?
We don’t need to say the right thing. We don’t need to do the right thing or run in the right direction to get our prayer life off the ground.
Like the kite on that Easter morning, we just need to stay open the way we were meant to be. To show up and let the wind of the Holy Spirit lift us higher.
So this week I challenge you to get up five minutes early (one alarm snooze early if you’re anything like me). Sit up in bed or better yet move to your favorite chair or comfy spot in your home. Say to Jesus, “Here I am. I open my heart and my soul to you. Let my spirit soar in your wind today.”
Then sit in the peace of that early-morning moment.
So what if your mind wanders or it’s not perfect. It’s not about doing all the right things. It’s about showing up and being present with Jesus.
You don’t need to force the kite to fly. You just need to be open to the wind.