Ready to Fly
“We are made for transcendence and endless horizons.” -Richard Rohr
Many Sundays after lunch you might spy my four older children racing each other on their bikes around the paved circumference of Radnor Lake. In their dust, you will also see Percy, my four-year old, trying his very best to keep up on his little blue bike with training wheels. Recently, Percy announced at dinner, “I’m ready to ride with the big kids!”
I knew this rite of passage would come with its fair share of crocodile tears, scraped knees, stormy frustration and even moments of true fear. But there was that unmistakable twinkle in his eye. Percy was ready to fly! My sister, Belle, suggested we start the project on the Radio Flyer “Glider,” a mini-bike with no pedals. Percy could push fast with his feet until he gained enough momentum to lift his feet and glide. This little Glider was the trick! Percy got the feel of balance, steering and a glimpse of a real soar.
Learning to ride a bike is a beautiful metaphor for the progression of the spiritual life. Neuroscientists from the University of Aberdeen have scientifically proven that once mastered, a person never forgets how to ride a bike. There is a special area in the brain’s cerebellum that permanently imprints the experience. I believe the same process happens in the soul when the dots mystically connect to the Divine. Once you have this experience, however fleeting, you will never forget the Divine reality in and all around you.
Faith is the wonderful vehicle to discover that depth within ourselves. 2 John says, “The truth is already in us and will be with us forever.” I am convinced our experience here on earth is a training ground for our soul to discover and activate its extraordinary capabilities: to love, to forgive, to create beauty, to hope in the face of despair, to embrace that which isn’t always seen—-the very real presence of God. We get to spend our lives creating soul-muscle memory from every one of our life’s experiences. It is sacred work.
Like Percy, I am pedaling fast, lifting my feet and gliding for moments of spiritual bliss. But I have a long way to go before I can cut loose and ride like the wind, free of fear, envy less, loving wholly in this life. I’m still restless and insecure in my human skin. In a blink, my ego can take over the handle bars. I have the scars to prove it. Sometimes I struggle to holdfast to hope when the world outside me feels gloom and doom. Inconsistent in my prayer life and connection with God, I am not always the picture of peace. I have yet to master the art of trusting God’s providence in all things. But I know something of heaven here on earth and that exquisite reality keeps me pedaling forward. The best news is I feel God’s steady hand on my back. One day, like Percy, I will finally fly free. Destination: Endless horizons.
Live in Hope,