"... Remote for detachment, narrow for chosen company, winding for leisure, lonely for contemplation, it beckons not merely north and south but upward to the body, mind and soul of man." ~ attributed to Myron Avery concerning the Appalachian Trail
I am in love with my nothing less
Tear drops of joy run off my face
I will rise...
For someone that's afraid to
Love you knew what I feel
Then you couldn't be so sure
I'll be right here
Lying in the hands of god.
Now the floor is the ceiling
If you never flew why would you?
Why would you?
~ a last few words from a Dave Matthews Band song that I don't want to hear.
So what I think I'm really thinking about today is walking ... That one step in front of the other type of walking. I want to feel what walking can help me feel ... I want to feel its gift as I feel the gift that flying brings to me. I want to savor the little bits of it and the bigger bit as well. Walking is opposite of flying. My soul would prefer to fly everywhere it goes ... I am confident and in my element when I am flying. Walking ... almost everyone can walk ... we take it for granted ... . I've been really thinking about it for awhile now.
Back in April I wrote ...
Boy, that is a wonderful ... loving ...quote isn't it? Love. The writer of one of the few blogs I read is writing thoughts on I Cor. 13 ... probably my favorite chapter of the Bible ... the summit, so to speak, where the air is the cleanest, the view is the most expansive, where a climb is completed. I guess I'm a bit spoiled ... as a pilot I believe I can skip the drudgery of trudging one foot in front of the other all the slippery slope way up ... skip the often treacherous conditions confronted during the boot strap climb, skip the sore muscles, blisters rubbed raw, snapped pieces, frayed ends where a knot is now tied, cold shoulder frost icing over where something resembling love once warmed the heart, you know ... all that crappy stuff, skip the work/pain required by the climb ... and just fly there. Fly there. Fly there ...full power ... airspeed alive ... all instruments in the green.
God, I love to fly. Thank you, God, for making me a person who can sit in that seat! Please help me towards the self discipline that a walk with You requires ... thank you for creating within me, a flyer ... but, help me to walk/climb as You see fit, because God ... honestly ... I want to fly all the time ... and I know You know that ... and I know You know what's best for me ... all the time.
... It's so hard to put on ones boots while kicking ... help me to be still.
Ummm ... Flying is good. It has been really good for me ... It flew me to this place in my spiritual life where I ... well, it's hard to put in to words ... . It seems like a lot of the moments in life conspire to destroy our innocence ... the abiding place or shelter where God is real ... present ... caring ... Abba, holy Father. Maybe that place is lost in a second ... where second thoughts stray the path which leads home. Now I have asked my "Ifs" and I am satisfied that God is God enough to handle them ...every single little and big of them ... I hand Him the crumpled up little scrap of paper ... .
Okay ... I'll explain what I mean by that.
I sit with a child to gently facilitate their art making ... I have done this exact thing with many many children ... some of whom I dearly love. In real life, I've always been fortunate to be able to provide almost unlimited art supplies. For a child, the choices have to be limited, otherwise they are overwhelmed and unable to choose anything ... or, occasionally, you see a child who wants to choose everything, which is another kind of mess all together. Have you every seen a child erase the line they drew so many times that they wear a hole through the paper ... or a tear. Tears cause tears, especially for beginners. It's really hard to make art while you're crying. Crayons are a good place to start art.
As I type here this morning, I stop to remember all the little artists I've sat with. I smile. Here's why ...
On a round table there is a piece of perfectly clean paper. It's a nice weight and size. Along with the paper is a fresh box of crayola crayons (they smell the best), a little watercolor set (with some paper towel and a cup of clean water), and some blunt tipped scissors. At the table are two child size chairs. My 5'8" is folded up and perched in one of them ... the child timidly approaches the empty seat ... the place specifically prepared by me for them. I hope they will find joy there. If you've never done some version of this ... put a kid on a horse for their first time ... guided them to touch the fur of a big waggy-tailed dog ... tended a seed all the way up to a jalapeño for the most delicious salsa ever ... you know, those kind of things. Well, surely everyone has done their version of this with a novice. For me, this is what it's all about.n Life is about two seats. God figured out a way to sit in a seat that is small enough for me to see Him ... and He invited me to join Him at a table where I think He'd like me to find some joy.
Back to those kids. You really never know who is going to show up there in that little seat. I've met kids who are pretty weird ... Well, honestly, every single one of them is weird ... . One is afraid to get their hands dirty with art supplies ... another wants to take the brushes out of the cup and drink the water ... some of them cry if a crayon is broken while some of them just want to sit there and break crayons ... there's always a kid who refuses to do much more then a single slashing line on the paper, another who wants to be told exactly what to do, another who will sit there kicking you in the shins while smiling about it and acting like it was accidental ... one will demand the scissors and want to make confetti while looking longingly across the room at the hot wheels track. Most of them have never held a paintbrush or a pair of scissors ... even more unbelievable to me, several of them have never held a crayon.
This is what I hope to quide them through on their way to the joy, and yes, hopefully there are several little dollops of dopamine along the way:
I hope they will choose to come to the table, sit down, get comfortable with the items in front ot them and also with me.
Open a fresh box of colors and pick out their favorites ... sometimes that's one color ... sometimes that is every color. Scribble scrabble some color(s) on to the paper. They do this all kinds of ways ... their own unique way. Some will take instruction on how to hold the crayon (paintbrush/scissor), others know how to do it ... (smile).
Layer some watercolor over the crayon scribbles. Some are traumatized others are absolutely delighted by this step.
Ater the paper dries, cut a heart shape out of the paper. Again ... this step can and does evoke a wide range of responses.
We may sit down together and do something like this many times ... Eventually we will get to this place:
Take whatever the best representation of a heart shape this kid has been able to create ... It may be a pretty awesome piece of brilliantly executed genius, or ... it may be a pile of monochromatic slivers of paper (I can draw a heart and help them glue their little pieces willy-nilly sorta inside the lines) ...
The culmination of this little creative joint venture is that each little soul will have a heart that they have created ... Every single one of them unique ... Beautiful ... A product of their process. Every single one of these kids will practically burst with joy when they present this little "expression" to their significant other. My job is to help them take pleasure in what they have created ... introducing, guiding, listening, facilitating, encouraging ... all that and more.
I gotta go do my day ... I'll finish this train of thought later. What I'm trying to say is my soul knows how to fly ... walking well is a totally different and equally challenging kind of experience. I want to add walking well to my soul's experiences.
I couldn't even see the airplanes through the trees on my walk in the woods ... there wasn't one single pilot who was able to see the beauty that was near the ground. There's some pretty good stuff down there too. I'm looking forward to seeing what God has set up at this little round table table.