Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Excitement of Spring

Today granted me one of those 'magical moments'; a time when after many cold months the sun felt warm on my skin and the world seemed more colourful and bright. It didn't just please me; it also suited the many glider pilots who were sweeping around the skies over Wendover.

I was reminded of the time when I learned to fly. In the beginning I was reticent; fearful perhaps. It took me an age to take advantage of a gifted lesson. The first few attempts were poor and I more often than not landed in a ball on a hillside with my glider. However, I will never forget how I felt. It is perhaps the same for those times when we gently acquire new skills of any kind - that inability to think about, or do anything else. After my first hop into the air (well, one that could be counted in minutes and not seconds), I could think of nothing else for weeks afterwards. I would daydream about flying, counting the days until the next opportunity. The fear dissipated fairly quickly to give way to this intoxicating addiction to the new talent.

In my spiritual life, I have experienced the same effervescence! I have been a practicing Christian all of my life, but it was only in my teens that I took a hold of prayerfulness with any intention. I remember feeling frightened of it, that it felt forced that it made me feel oddly coy. I remember the first time when prayer felt normal, an encounter that stopped being about how I felt and one when it just happened. Nothing much beats that feeling of getting it right for the first time, or the second, or the third, or ...

Spring is a stunning season. Death moves into new life. The air warms and becomes fragrant. Colours re-awaken and the world seems so hopeful. It is a time when pilots fly, perhaps for the first time in months, with all the excitement of the first flight. It is also a time when our partly dormant senses come alive to the hope in God, the hope of the Resurrection that is only days away. We have Lent to take stock and make preparations. Like the checks that pilots have to make - without them, that perfect flight may not be possible for lack of the right frame of mind. Surely the same can be said for our flight with God. The air is perfect and it is waiting. So is God; time to fly!