It was a Mary Poppins kind of windy day. The wind wrestled with me and my umbrella and tossed down a carpet of leaves on our road. When we saw our neighbors headed to the nearby grassy field with their kite, we were inspired to follow with ours.
Kite-flying was new to me and I assumed that, just like in Mary Poppins, you toss the kite into the air and it soars. Haha! In the midst of tangled string and ribbons, I realized that kite-flying is a negotiating process with the wind. You let your kite go once the wind agrees to play and then you are continuously steering by winding and unwinding the string until it soars.
Just before we had to go in to tend to hungry bellies, we got our kite to soar. Wow! What a thrill! I really felt like I was touching the sky as I guided from earth something in the air. Gazing at that butterfly kite soaring above my head, I recalled an earlier discussion I had had with my husband. We noted the instant age we live in and how it influences our reasoning. We try something and if there isn’t an immediate result we try something else and so on and so forth.
I’ve noticed this tendency in my parenting: I try a new method or strategy and if I don’t immediately get the response I want, I go back to the books and try a new strategy. I’ve noticed this in how I relate to my own person: if I have a breakthrough in understanding a tendency in my character I assume I’ll immediately improve and never have to deal with that issue again; but if I repeat old habits I get frustrated and am quick to throw in the towel. Ha! I even found myself checking to see if our seeds had sprouted 3 days after we had planted them.
Before the microwave era, humans knew that life takes time. Farmers rolled with the seasons; hunters took days to track their prey; mothers made clothes by hand, washed them by hand, and made all their food from scratch. Instant wasn’t an option. Now? Now it feels like if it’s not instant then something is wrong. But I’m trying to shift my perspective these days.
There are times when I discipline calmly; the children all get along; memory verses are shared and songs are sung; we have the perfect balance of work and play. And then there are times when I’m impatient; there’s continual bickering; we can’t stay on track if it’s the last thing we do and no one wants to sit still for Bible time or meals. Does one type of day negate the other? No, both are real and both will be repeated. We must persevere because that’s how life is truly experienced. You see, there are times when the string is all tangled and there are times when you touch the sky.