When I was a kid I got the idea (probably from Highlights magazine or from Weekly Reader) to build my own kite. And in the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer with nothing better to do, I tried it. I gathered the suggested materials – lightweight paper and balsa wood, strong nylon string and light fabric for a tail.
Only I didn’t have the suggested materials – exactly. So I incorporated some cheap “substitutes”. Old newspaper, two sticks I found in the yard, some heavy cotton twine, and leftover pieces of fabric my mother gave me from her sewing basket. Then I put it all together just like the instructions said. Sure. That would work, right?
Needless to say I had trouble getting that kite off the ground. Oh, I tried. I ran back and forth in the vacant lot next to our house for an hour or so but that kite would not fly. I remember even trying to tweak my design, adding more tail or deleting some – to no avail. That kite was never going to get off the ground. Ever.
It was some time later that I bought a kite at the dime store. Probably spent my entire allowance on it. But when I got it home and put it together, it flew like it was meant to. I guess that’s just it. It was designed to do one thing and some designer had supplied just the right materials in the right combination to make it do what it was supposed to do at the right time.
In recent days (maybe even months or years) I’ve tried to launch myself into ventures that weren’t so successful. In fact, they pretty much flopped. Could be, like the homemade kite, I was just too hasty to let my ventures soar that I didn’t take the time to gather the right tools. It was a matter of timing.
I’m not a type-A person. Not highly driven. Instead I’m kind of a dreamer but a spontaneous mover on my ideas. And I’m not patient. All of this is a formula for failure in so many pursuits. Good idea. Wrong timing.
In the next few weeks, we will be moving to Georgia from Nashville where we’ve lived for 26 years. There are so many things to do that I’m often overwhelmed with the “to-do” list that floats in my head. I dream of what life will be like there and wonder what I should do to make it turn out right. But I’ve got to wait. Again. As ready as I think I am, there’s a time for all things to be done in the right order. Anything else and I’ll be designing my own defeat.
Back to the kite analogy. This summer at the beach I saw a kite whose flyer seemed to have all the right tools and the right conditions to keep it aloft indefinitely. Occasionally I’d see that the string on the kite would get a little loose and the kite would start to sink. Then the pilot would pull the string taut and the kite would climb higher and higher again. The tension of the tether was important to the height.
I’m trying to be careful – and patient – to get this next phase right. To wait. To gather. To wait some more. Then to let God, my “Pilot”, determine my success by holding the tension just right.
Here are some Bible verses that are sustaining me in these days.
From Isaiah 40:31 “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
Ecclesiastes 8:6 “For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him.”
By the way, we found a beautiful house this past weekend in Cleveland, GA to rent, and it took being at the right place at the right time to get it. God’s timing is really obvious – and awesome.
P.S. This Sunday is our last at our beloved church of 25 years, Judson Baptist, in Nashville. We have made friends there that have become more than friends. They are family. Our leaving won’t be easy or pleasant but I know that God is in this move for us and for the days ahead in this church.
So I pray: “God, maintain Your grip on us and them, too, so that we all can soar for You!”