Monday, 26 July 2010

The Joy of Hopefulness

The thing about flying is that it is inherently hopeful. To fly without hope is perhaps the most foolish thing to do. In flight, we as humans defy the pull of gravity at every moment, and we harness improbable forces outside of ourselves to achieve the lift that we need for the flight to take shape. 

Having sat patiently, as a paraglider pilot, on hillsides waiting for conditions to become right, I have noticed how hopefulness overrides boredom, and maintains focus of mind. Waiting for that moment when it is possible to enter the air is a wonderful thing, and free-flyers will know that such times can last hours at a time. When we take off, of course we hope to land. We also hope to have a wonderful flight, hope to see wonderful views, hope for good flying conditions - all these hopes are indeed a joyful thing. Perhaps that is why Icarus waxed some feathers in the first place. The joy of his hopefulness drove him into the sky. 
This particular brand of hopefulness has been brought into relief this St. James' Day, when we hear of the 'pushy mum' Salome, James the Apostle's mother, make a bid for her boys with the Rabbi. I think that if every Christian could take something of that absolute hopefulness that Salome demonstrated in her sons, and then applied it to their life in Christ,  we would know that joy. Like pilots, we need to harness the impossibility of the invisible to make the visible possible.

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