The kite philosophy

Saturday, January 5, 2013 § 2 Comments

My niece is tugging hard on the string, shifting her weight from one foot to the other to keep her frame stable. If she wobbles, she will lose control of the kite, which by now flies higher into the sky as she lets go a length of the string at a time.

A swift moment after, the kite reaches the highest height its string will allow, stable up in the air, its tail dancing to the rhythm of the wind.

Happy with her feat, she then hands the string winder to my sister, effectively giving her all control of the airborne kite. My sister jumps at the chance, pleasure written all over her face. She pulls the kite a little, then turns to me and says, “Try it.”

I hesitate. I doubt I can control the kite against the wind. But she urges me and I give in. From where I sit, I can see the kite battling it out with the wind. It gives a slight pull. I answer it with a gentle tug.  Staring at the kite, I exclaim, “It’s such a nice feeling!”

An hour or so earlier, my sister and I were in the open field trying to fly the same kite. We took turns launching it and pulling the string in, but we never got to fly it at such a height. Worse, the kite crashed to the ground a number of times. It didn’t bother me, though, and in my mind I wasn’t as bad as I really was because from the get-go I was clear with my intention: I wouldn’t struggle with the wind and have the kite airborne like what the other kite flyers were attempting to do.

I know I couldn’t do it anyway.

I would just fly the kite at a height I could manage.

Kite-flying

I now think back to the times I underperformed because of the limits I subconsciously set for myself, and the many opportunities I passed up because I thought I couldn’t deliver.

I didn’t fly the kite as high as the string would allow not because I couldn’t but because I’d said to myself I wouldn’t. Even before I started, my mindset worked against me — not the wind, not how the kite was launched, not how I tugged on the string.

I could have flown that kite high in the air, or snagged that writing opportunity, or approached certain people of note, or planted my feet in that lovely place, if I didn’t start out drawing my boundaries, telling myself what I could only do and how far I could only go. Doing so made me weak, and it inevitably became my excuse to back out at the bleakest prospect of difficulty and failure.

The reason for my past failures is that I allowed the limitations I’d predertermined for myself to set my course when in fact I am bigger and better than my limitations.

Truth is, I am that kite. I can fly high only if I let go of everything that holds me back — like how a kite flyer supposedly lets go of the string, with a trusting knowledge that each time he lets go, the kite glides higher.

What holds me back?

Fear holds me back.

Insecurity holds me back.

Pride holds me back.

Procrastination and laziness hold me back.

Wrong frame of mind holds me back.

Here within me is a suppressed potential. Everyone of us has. We are created to do greater than what we currently do — not necessarily greater in scope and size, but greater in significance and eternal value. We are destined to fly higher than where we are now, with our Ultimate Wind propelling us in the right direction, His character even magnified in our flight.

But first, we have to let go. Shall we?

As the new year unfolds, may we commit ourselves to being assertive, a doer, an action-maker, not putting limits to what we can do. Let’s not just sit idly and watch things happen; let’s make things happen. Let’s not just just seize opportunities; let’s create opportunities. Then we’ll be surprised at how far and high He can actually take us.

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