He Flies through the Air with the Greatest of Ease

Isaiah 40:31

“They shall mount up with wings…”

Many people report having dreams of flying. It’s not uncommon at all. I never dreamed of flying though, well…not exactly.  I have dreams of swimming in air. In my dreams, if I move my arms and legs in exactly the same motion as swimming, I can swim up, down, sideways, anywhere I want. Have fun with that one, Dr. Freud. I guess one of the reasons I never dreamed of being able to fly is, I can really fly, for a little while anyway.

In Balmorhea, Texas, the parsonage backyard opens up into the school front yard. Just beyond that is the football field. At five years old, I learned to follow my older sister to the football field, pull the foam rubber high jump mats out of their storage shed, and place them in back of the bleachers.  My siblings and I, along with the Methodist preacher’s kids, would spend hours jumping from the top of the bleachers onto the mats. We performed somersaults, flip-flops, and plain old belly-flops.

When I was nine, my father came home with an awesome surprise. He had obtained from his uncle or cousin or some other such relative two, two, fighter pilot helmets, one white with a lightening bolt, and one red with a white stripe.  It took no more than an hour for my brother and I to put them to use.  We dug to the bottom of the dirty clothes hamper, pulled out the dirty sheets, and hit the back door. There was an exterior plumbing vent pipe which allowed us to climb up onto the garage roof. From there, we instantly became parachuting Army Ranger heroes. It actually worked! Well, it worked until mom saw us with the sheets. Fortunately for us, there was a large cedar tree just on the side of the garage. Now we were sky-diving, sans parachute, into the shrub, even more fun. Flying taught me to be fearless.

Peterpanflying

“They shall run and not be weary…”

In Hartley High School (225 students, K-12), everyone played every sport. Basketball, track, and tennis were the sum total of the athletics program. I was a little stocky, so I was easily enough assigned the shot and discus. We were one competitor short for the mile run, though, so my coach decided he would toss me in there.  I was stunned. Everyone was stunned. The milers consisted of the tall lanky transfer student from Iowa, the bone-thin 100 pound Jim Bob, and me.  Our coach’s training method consisted of driving us several miles out of town, dropping us off, and saying, “See you at the end of practice.” Although my best time was barely under six minutes, I learned to pace myself and push myself, and I learned to work past “the wall” and get my second wind.

runner

“They shall walk and not faint.”

When I was in college, I was broke, flat broke, dead broke, poor-as-a-church-mouse broke. That’s because I was a church mouse. There was one source of joy, though. I met a redhead who seemed to show interest in me. I couldn’t afford to take her on dates or buy her flowers, but she would walk around campus with me, and she would walk to the park with me. Walking is a practice we got into that we continue today. For over 30 years we’ve been walking through scenery of mountains, beaches, deserts, and forests, wherever we happen to be.

When I read this well-known passage from Isaiah, I see in it the stages of life. As youngsters, we spread our wings and fly fearlessly anywhere and everywhere. As adults, we settle into the rat-race and run our children to football games, music concerts, graduations, and hopefully church. At some point, we hit the empty nest and slow down a bit.  That’s where my lovely redhead and I find ourselves these days, walking. Our son is flying, one daughter is running, and one is coming back to earth for a landing. I’m enjoying the slower pace. Things seem as they should be.

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Published in: on January 25, 2016 at 10:56 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. Great blog!


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