No Fear of Flying

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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As the head of a small Episcopal grade school, I often give the chapel talk. To grab the attention of 40 squirming preschoolers—no easy task—I search for simple stories and parables. One morning, having forgotten it was my day to teach the lesson, I frantically scoured my office for an object to make into a story . . . something about God. In a corner, I noticed an old cardboard box with "magic" handwritten in black marker. Curious, I opened it and discovered a long-forgotten treasure from walks in the woods: a stalk from one of my favorite plants, the milkweed. I love the dried pods and seeds.

In autumn, I gather milkweed seeds still attached to the filmy white fluff and throw them into the air, marveling at the delicate parachutes bearing the rough brown seeds to their new destination, delighting in the dance of the wind and the small ballerina seeds. That morning, I carried a ragged cardboard box into the chapel and placed it on the altar. To the delight of my wiggly audience, I demonstrated the aerial dance of the milkweed seeds. I told how God blows us into unexpected places, how we can trust the wind, how we are free to soar and float like milkweed. I was waxing eloquent when a little voice piped up: "Yeah, ‘cause God knows where we're gonna land."

I think of Queen Esther who strode uninvited into the presence of the king of Persia and onto the pages of history (Esther 4–8); Peter who left the boat and walked on water (Matt. 14:22–32); the widow of Zeraphath who gave her last cake of flour and oil to Elijah and received not only sustenance for the next years of famine but the everlasting approval of God and a place in the book of Hebrews' honor roll of faith. (1 Kings 17:7–24, Luke 4:26, Heb. 11:35)

In each case, a person trusted in a God who was on their side, who would show them the next step if they took the first one. In each case, the person had reason to feel like an outsider, the underdog, as if she didn't count, as if he were not enough. Esther was from a despised minority, a woman in a hostile environment. Peter was a hot-tempered, uneducated laborer. The widow of Zeraphath was a hated Samaritan, another outcast. But God says, "You can fly!" In the words of my six-year-old mentor, "‘Cause God knows where you're gonna land."

Discussion questions:

  • What holds you back from pursuing your dream? What other people think? Security? Fear of success? Failure?
  • Where would you like to land?
  • Can you believe that God wants to help you achieve your dreams?