Let Go of the Kite String
Trusting the Hand that Holds the String
Did you know there are six basic shapes and styles of kites? There is the traditional Diamond Kite, Box Kite, Winged Box Kite, Sled, Delta and Power Kite. Their abilities of height, tricks and durability all vary according to style. And the colors are limitless!
I’ve come to realize our children are like kites. Beautiful, colorful and of different styles.
As parents, when our children were young we got to help construct them. We tenderly unrolled the fragile paper, placing and adjusting the sticks with just enough bow. As kite builders we had to simultaneously assess the needs of the kite while constructing. Last but not least we provided the essential kite tale and made the all-important string available. This kite-building process has possibly become the most valued use of my time on the planet.
As parents we held the kite tightly and ran against the force of the wind, teaching them how to fly. And then we let go. When they didn’t get enough lift of their own, they crashed to the ground. But we were there. We picked them up, helped to assess what went wrong and adjusted their bent sticks. And once again we held them protectively against the wind for yet another try, and another, and another, and another…
And then, we let them go into the fierce wind. We let them go with great hope and anticipation. We hoped that we taught them enough to maneuver themselves against strong currents and to climb to the highest heights! We let them go into the wind knowing the joy of flying to new levels of personal growth, success and fulfillment of dreams. And yet we let go, knowing that the wind can be strong, fickle, even destructive. There are hidden currents of addiction, chronic illness, disillusionment, infidelity….
We now stand on the ground feeling helpless, watching them make life choices. And we rehearse the mantra, “This is her journey. This is his journey. It’s their turn to figure out life.” And yet, we still feel attached. We feel the ride. The thrill of success, the devastating currents of disappointment. All the while reminding ourselves that this is their journey, they have to learn when to go against the wind or identify and catch a good current in order to climb.
I’m learning and attempting to embrace, as a parent of young adult children, that this IS their journey. And I am to love this kite, in the predictable and unpredictable winds it may find itself. And they DO have to figure this out. I’m also learning that my role as kite builder has changed. But what is my role? Because their journey does in fact affect me.
That question pushed me to investigate the kite tail. It is attached. It is important. It does make a difference in the flight. Perhaps that is my new role, one of a kite tail.
For the kite tail to be most effective it must be centered. My walk with Christ is what keeps me centered. I need to keep Christ as the object of my faith. The wellbeing of my children is not the object of my faith, as tempting as that may be to live for and expend all of my thoughts and energy. My God is The One I live for and entrust my children to.
The kite tail helps make a kite fly more stably by adding some needed weight and drag to its lower end. At some time, the force of drag from the kite tail pulls the kite back in the direction that the wind is going. I often want to offer my seasoned, weighty words to point the kite in the direction I think it needs to go. After all, I myself have flown many miles! But I am learning that most of my words need to be kept between me and my heavenly Father. The position of prayer offers more weight than this kite tail understands. Prayer to The One who holds the string and helps the kite maneuver among the strong winds.
At times the kite tail may need to be adjusted to the size of the kite. “Father, measure me. Fit me to the size of my adult child that has grown without my knowing.” Oh, to be willing to open my eyes and see the growth; he is no longer 16. Or to step back and watch her resist such strong winds with perseverance and strength. If my reach is too long, it creates a tangled mess.
“Father, untangle me before the knots get too tight to understand. I’m afraid I have wrapped myself around this beautiful kite, attempting to take control. Please give me wisdom in this unfamiliar role of a kite tail. May the fear of strong winds drive me to your Word and keep me centered. May I trust you with this priceless kite of mine”
Psalm 119:130 “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
And finally, a kite without a tail will spin and roll. Because it is alone, the kite is unstable. Perhaps my simple presence is more valuable than I realize. It is a place of honor, to be a kite tail: to be welcomed, attached and present to the kite. May I learn to accept and rest in the humble role of a kite tail. I suppose I am learning to fly anew, trusting the heart of The One who holds the string.
The string of sovereignty, the string of command, the string of control, the string of grace.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
Written by a kite tail of four,
Thrive Leadership Foundation