I see a kite, soaring high above a beach, or maybe a field.
What keeps the kite aloft?
Well, there are two opposing forces. The wind applies pressure to the kite; the string keeps the kite properly oriented with respect to the wind. So it lifts and soars. Without the restraint of the string, the kite goes nowhere. It just winds up lying on the ground with the wind blowing over top of it.
Here’s one way to think of the image. The wind represents various forces in your life: your dreams and desires, your urges and appetites; the influences of other people, from your most intimate relationships to the pressures and propaganda and values of your surrounding culture. Challenges, obligations, responsibilities, priorities (those you set for yourself and those that others try to set for you!).
The string represents My influence in your life: My voice speaking through your conscience and through My word; wisdom, holiness, the spiritual disciplines. Fellowship and accountability-the influence of My body. The intimacy of the Eucharist. Worship. Prayer. Service.
It’s the influence of My Presence- the string- that allows you to soar no matter which way the wind blows. As long as the string holds, you’ll experience the true joy of being lifted up high enough to see the landscape- this is wisdom and knowledge and understanding. They come from Me, but they can actually be and are increased by living in the wind but secured by the string. This is what I referred to as “being in the world but not of it”.
I want My people fully engaged with life- mixing it up with all sorts of people, transacting business, creating culture, sharing ideas, seeking to influence the political climate, making friends, meeting practical needs, serving, subduing the earth. This is the Cultural Mandate. So stay out there where the wind is!
But be sure your kite string stays intact. That’s what I meant when I invited you to abide in Me and with Me. Then the winds of life won’t just blow you around every which way. They’ll lift you up and cause you to soar.