St. Patrick’s Day, 2009

Today I learned that people are fragile, just like kites. Easily torn and broken.

It was an unseasonably warm, almost spring kind of day. The wind was fairly strong, as is typical in March. My youngest daughter, who seemed to have a flair for physics, had been constructing homemade kites out of tissue paper, popsicle sticks and tin foil. Her artistic side added beautiful ribbons and bows for tails, but the kites didn’t really fly all too well, even when she stood on the picnic table to help them along. So alas, I journeyed to the store in search of kites.

I found some colorful kites of varying shapes and sizes in the toy department at the store, and my four kids were excited to try them out right away. Unfortunately, we were so impatient we made the mistake of trying to fly them in front of the house where there were lots of trees.

My youngest had the grand idea of flying her kite while riding her bike. That turned into a big tangled mess in the bike spokes, chain and handlebars resulting in her crying and running into the house.

Meanwhile, one of her older sisters and my son were doing a pretty good job navigating their kites around the trees, when my other daughter got hers stuck so badly in the tree that it took a ladder and a pole saw to chop off the entire branch the kite was stuck in! And so another child ran into the house crying!

What a nightmare it was! I was left feeling like the worst ogre mother in the universe because needless to say, I was not taking all of this very well. Who knew kites could provoke so much emotion!

Just like kites, life can become a tangled mess. We can easily become torn and broken. We can get stuck, waiting for someone to rescue us like a kite out of a tree. We must hold the kite tightly to anchor it or it will blow off into the wind like a loose balloon with no destiny.

So the question becomes, what is our anchor when life gets all tangled up and messy? Is it in Christ who holds us tightly if we let Him? Or do we run to something else that is not lasting or another flawed human who cannot possibly fill all our needs?

With a lot of patience and no obstructions, a kite will soar and fly beautifully, but that can only happen if it is anchored in someone’s skilled hand.

To this day, many years later, I still feel sad about how badly I handled that March day. It didn’t turn out all happy and delightful like the song, “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” in the movie Mary Poppins, but it is important to learn from our mistakes and move on and fly high, just like kites are supposed to do.

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