So… We’re still here. Lots of things we’re mulling over, just hasn’t been the right time to blog about them.
I wanted to share something that happened last week. I managed to go kiting last week for the first time in
ages two weeks. After having seven straight days of rain in the beginning of October, the return of the sun brought a crisp northeast wind (which also coincided with my birthday), so I thought it would be rude not to take advantage of it.
The wind started strong but died down after we had been kiting for an hour or so, and as my little 7m is not keen on light wind, I swapped it for my buddy’s 10m. As I’m still very much learning the ropes (pun intended?) of kiting and learning to fly different types of kites, I found this 10m so completely foreign. I could feel its power, but for some reason it was feeling really sluggish and could hardly keep me out of the water. The conditions were already slightly tricky as the wind was on-shore and there were obstacles in the water, and I was really struggling to fly this kite. I could tell from the indecipherable hand gestures that my kite buddy was a little anxious – probably for his kite as much as my safety – so I decided to come in. I felt pretty stupid, but I was exhausted from fighting the kite, and figured I could use a break anyway. I won’t forget his words after he landed me:
“You’re so used to muscling your kite around and working it hard. You can’t do that with my kite – it will lose all its power. You just need to let it take you where it wants to go, and then when you feel its power, gently guide it upwind.”
Boom. This was my life, in a nutshell. I’ve been muscling through life and working hard and striving – for a career path, for success, for God, for everything. I’m exhausted for trying to do things my way. I felt God saying that he wants to give me a new kite, or at least a different way of flying. One that’s easy, effortless, that I don’t have to strive for.
The kite analogy continued the next day during our weekly prayer session. I could see Jesus on the beach path where I grew up – he asked me if I wanted to go kiting (of course!). I walked down to the beach to see that it was a beautiful, summer windy day with calm waters. I associate the summer, when the winds are out of the southwest, with consistent winds and calm waters – i.e. perfect conditions for easy kiting. The winds shift in the fall and winter to the northeast, which usually makes for chilly, gusty, rough kiting. Because I’m still a beginner, my survival instincts tend to kick in fairly strongly when I kite in a northeast wind – it’s still kiting (which I love), but it’s exhausting and there is also some amount of fear and dread (especially in big gusts). I felt like Jesus said that he wanted to change the wind direction of my life – from northeast to southwest. That I’ve been going for so long in gusty conditions and rough waters – I’ve been surviving, but there has been little joy. I feel like he wants to give me back the joy that comes from knowing that I’m safe, that I’m not on my own, and that if I get into trouble he’ll be there to rescue me.
Are you tired? Worn out from surviving? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you a different way of kiting. Walk with me and kite with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. In fact I’ll give you a new kite that flies effortlessly. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (Matthew 11, The Message, paraphrased by me)