Thursday, December 18, 2003

Flying, not Fighting

Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' famous first flight. I found it interesting that with all the hooplah organized for the anniversary--which included building a to-scale replica of the brothers' first plane--we weren't able, with our modern minds and tools, to repeat their success. The replica started across the field and nose-dived into a puddle. Commentators remarked, "Well, this just underscores what an achievement this was when the Wright brothers did it a century ago."

Other people had apparently been working on the possibility of flight back when the Wright brothers did it. The difference between others' attempts and theirs, however, was cooperation. Everyone else was trying to create solid, metal structures that would would slice through the wind without being affected by it. But the Wright brothers, who had previously designed and created bicycles, knew something the others didn't know: flimsy can be effective. Their plane, which was shaky and tentative on the ground, was controllable in the air. It responded to the gusts and flows of the wind and worked with them, not against them.

As I listened to this story yesterday, I found myself wondering which force I am cooperating with. I hope, moment by moment, that it is the transforming Love of God. Does it matter that I am sometimes a shaky and inconsistent contraption? Or is the most important thing that I am willing to trust the wind of Spirit and let my wings be buoyed by that which I do not fully understand and could not ever (and would not want to) control? Leadings and learnings help me navigate, but at best I am a swirling mix of temporal and eternal; never getting it completely right, never absolutely sure I know the direction, but always choosing to fly with the wondrous wind of God instead of fighting--in vain isolation--against it.

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