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Let’s go fly a kite

by davesandel on May 6th, 2021

Thursday, May 6, 2021                       (today’s lectionary)

Let’s go fly a kite

Up to the highest height!

As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love, let my joy live in you so your joy may be complete.

You’d think a place on Google Maps like Walden Park, complete with pictures of swings and ponds, would be a great place to go with Miles and Jasper, right? But it’s a shopping center! It’s a gated apartment complex! It’s an interstate interchange! It’s the door to the Sam’s Club back lot! What the heck?

So we went down the street to a tried and true destination, Brush Creek Lake Park, where on some Sundays we take bluebonnet pictures and listen to Mexican wedding music from the golf club across the lake, and it seems like thousands of families descend on the lake at the same time and grab all the picnic tables.

But it wasn’t Sunday! It wasn’t a holiday, and we had plenty of room on fast slides in the playground, a perfect picnic table in the shade of a 70 degree day, blue sky without a cloud, a splash pad that came on for an enticing five minutes and then closed off again.

These amenities were important, because we had food to eat and a kite in the car. The kite was a big green and yellow bird, which immediately drew the attention of some other kids while I learned on the fly how to put it together. When we got the kite last week, Marc was here. He gets things put together quickly. It took me awhile.

Say among the nations: The Lord is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved.

Haven’t we all flown kites forever? In grade school I won a Cub Scout prize (which I think was my choice of Girl Scout Cookies) for the smallest kite that actually flew above the Chester East Lincoln playground one Saturday morning in 1957. In college I graduated to flying hot air balloons for awhile, and then with our kids at Allerton Park … here’s a couple pics of Andi and Margaret on a day at Allerton that must have been just like today at Brushy Creek.

God, who knows the heart, grants all of us the Holy Spirit.

Our new friends Melania and Antonio helped us, and our kite flew high! The line was tight, the wind was pulling hard, and everyone got to hold it for a minute. What a beautiful sky, kite of many colors, kids with smiles a mile wide, and even a perfect picnic table for our morning snacks. At home we made skillet stroganoff for lunch, spilled some milk, took naps, and showed Andi the pictures of our morning.

At our centering prayer meeting last night, Mary Lou facilitated a short discussion of something Henri Nouwen wrote about prayer without ceasing.

To pray, I think, does not mean to think about God in contrast to thinking about other things, nor does it mean spending time with God instead of spending time with other people. As soon as we begin to divide our thoughts into thoughts about God and thoughts about other things, like people and events, we separate God from our daily life.

At that point God is allocated to a pious little niche in some corner of our lives where we only think pious thoughts and experience pious feelings. Although it is important and even indispensable for our spiritual lives to set apart time for God and God alone, our prayer can only become unceasing [prayer] when all our thoughts—beautiful or ugly, high or low, proud or shameful, sorrowful or joyful—can be thought in the presence of the One who dwells in us and surrounds us.

By trying to do this, our unceasing thinking is converted into unceasing prayer, moving us from a self-centered monologue to a God-centered dialogue. To do this we want to try to convert our thoughts into conversation. The main question, therefore, is not so much what we think, but to whom we present our thoughts.

And I thought, considering the events of our blue-sky-day, that it all felt just like that, a God-centered dialogue, not separated out, not pious or secular, not even a lovely Texan day in May as much as a day of joy with Jesus.

(Acts 15, Psalm 96, John 10, John 15)

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