Much of my free time as a boy was spent riding my bike all over the neighborhood. There was a few neighbors who thought my brother and I were hooligans on our bicycles. Some of them were bold enough to say so.
Being hooligans, rain or shine, summer or snow, my brother and I would ride our bikes in nearly every type of weather. Pretty much anytime, day or night, we would pedal those thangs all over the place.
Riding into a strong head wind was about the only condition where I actually hated bike riding. A tail wind was great fun as it seemed like we could coast forever, but inevitably, we’d always have to ride back against the wind to get home. For some reason, riding into a wind just sucked the joy out of bike riding. So much effort expended seemed to take us almost no where. After riding in the wind for a while, our hands and faces would be freezing–this would just add frustration to an already burdensome experience.
Growing up, I can only remember flying a kite once or twice, and it was in early elementary school. I don’t even recall owning a kite, so when I did fly one, it probably belonged to a friend. On a windy day, a kite could be an interesting thing. Anything less, like a breeze, made kite flying into more of a running type of experience. That was annoying because while a person is running they can’t even get a good view of the kite he’s trying to fly.
This last Christmas was far from the beautiful white Christmas many might sing about. Calgary gets occasional warm winds, Chinooks, that blow through town and usually melt away the snow. Since my family was hosting Christmas at our place, and our usual tobogan hill was missing all traces of snow, my daughter and I headed off to the hobby store to get some kites (just incase the adults has “just about enough” of the kids and sent them outside to play). I figured if the opportunity presented itself, then the kids and I might try flying some kites. Drat, the kids were too well behaved–we didn’t get exiled outside, and we didn’t end up needing those kites.
So a few weeks later my son, Justin, and I ended up trying out one of the kites. He’d never flown one before, and it had been decades since I’d done it. So off we went to the local soccer park to give it a go.
The day was perfect–nice and windy (the kind of day you might avoid riding a bike). After working at flying and steering (if one actually steers a kite), it wasn’t log before we had the kite fully extended on all the string from the spool. Both of us seemed to have a good time doing something unusual (or at least different from playing video games). At times, we seemed to be in control, and other times the wind took the kite in ways we certainly didn’t expect. Sure, the kite crashed a few times, but in my mind, it was a successful venture!
While we were flying the kite, I was reminded about wind being like faith. Someone once said that faith is believing in things unseen, and in Hebrews 11, faith is described as evidence of things unseen. And recalling a Billy Graham audio clip speaking about how he could not see the wind, but we could see the effects of the wind. So it also seems with God, although I cannot certainly don’t see Him (at least in the way we see others), I certainly see evidence of His work in my life, and how He effects me (and the world around me).