I am currently elevated—sitting in a coffee shop in Denver and getting some time to catch up, write, study and chill after a weekend of skiing and speaking at a church retreat in Breckenridge. But that’s an aside to my inspiration for writing …
My flight over here, on paper, looked like a potential nightmare. I’m sitting in a window seat on Frontier 615 and a lady sits down with a baby and says, "Well, looks like you’re the lucky winner." I smiled and nodded as politely as I could when confronted with the notion of a crying baby with ears popping for three hours. I grabbed a quick catnap on the runway during the de-icing process and woke up with an eight-year-old boy in the middle seat. The stewardess, who sees my confusion, explains that his parents are several rows up, because there wasn’t room.
Now it’s me, my faux wife and our two kids. I don’t even know my kid’s birthdays, although maybe that’s not that uncommon. Anyway, turns out the kids are wonderful. They don’t make a sound for three hours. Not even the baby, who by this time has captured my heart with his Adorable Quotient (AQ being the scientific measurement for levels of cuddliness divided by any annoying smells) of 9.7.
The mother held the child the entire flight. Never let him down and never let him move too much, keeping him distracted with the perfect amount of crayons, cars and food. When we landed, the mother says something to me that I haven’t been able to forget:
"If I let his feet hit the ground, he realizes that’s an option …"
Immediately, my heart latched onto it, so much so that I have been pondering that phrase for the last several days—moments in my mind of a cosmic father figure who sometimes won’t let me run. I have dreams; I have longings; I have visions I want to do, achieve, become. And there are moments when the voice inside is silent and invisible hands seem to be holding up progress in my life.
I have the ability to run. I long to run. I love the feeling of running and wanting to interact with the world, bringing whatever it is to it that I can. And yet there are moments when life seems still, progress seems frozen and confusion sets in.
"Why am I here?"
"What is the reason for the status quo?"
"Why am I stuck here in your lap?"
When my pretend wife told me why she wouldn’t let my pretend baby on the floor, I realized then a much bigger reason for the moments I feel constricted or even stuck. I strive for child-like levels of faith, but I’m also still caught in a child-like perspective of life as well. I can’t see as far as I think I can. And I struggle and squirm in the lap of limitations of a God who knows when to hold me back and when to release me.
There are times when I realize that my feet were allowed to touch the ground, and I ran right into the chaos, disorder, habits, destructive decisions or patterns that the parent knew I would run into. And it’s a good parent who knows when to pick me up and when to let me down.