Monday, March 7, 2011

I Want To Fly!

I awoke this morning exhausted.  My shoulder muscles felt as if I'd been working all night.  This is not rare with me.  It is as though I have been carrying a burden the entire night.  That image caught hold in my mind and I began to discover the problem.  I am clinging to something. Desperately, earnestly hanging on for dear life, to something I cannot bear to part with.

I've just spent a few hours trying to determine what it might be.  What is this burden that I am so unwilling to release, but which is so doggedly wearing me out?  I can't seem to put my finger on it?  I started my journey of recovery with a backpack full of rocks.  I have unloaded most of them.  I say most because there is obviously more  baggage I have not dealt with.  I'm pleased, at this point, to have a starting place.  I helps to have the realization that I still have a burden that I have not dropped at the Savior's feet.  Knowing that, I think I can go on to discover what it is.

During my days I keep busy.  Mostly serving others.  This makes me happy.  I spend my days relaxed and full of meaningful activity.  What is it about the night time that causes this tension to return.  I described it to Darwin the other day like this:  Every morning I awake in the tree tops of fear and anxiety.  My understanding of the gospel, the atonement and my faith in Jesus Christ allow me to talk myself down from those precarious heights.  There on solid ground I am able to spend my days in peace, gratitude and happiness.  Why is it though, that every dawn finds me desperately clinging to a precarious tree top perch?  What is chasing me to the upper most branches?  What do I fear?

It appears that my subconscious is dealing with something my conscious mind is not aware of.  What can that be?  Consciously, I am quite willing to let go of my own will, surrendering it to God.  Much experience has taught me that such action always results in happiness and contentment.  His will for me is always beneficial, joyful, and positive, even when it pushes me regularly out of my comfort zone.  Yet, somehow, during my sleep, I find myself desperately clinging to some inexplicable something that clearly I would be better off letting go.

My dreams don't bear a clue.  In fact when I am most affected by this state, I don't remember having dreams at all.

I don't think it has anything to do with the winds of adversity that are blowing on me at present.  I consider adversity to be like the breeze that enables a kite to fly.  In this metaphor I am the kite.  The string is woven of trust, faith and obedience.  It is God who holds the string.  It is He that uses adversity to enable me to soar to lofty heights.  Were the string to be severed I would be blown by the wind, out of control, to eventually fall from the sky.  Attached to God by the string He can take me where we wishes.  Unlike mortal flyers of kites, God controls the wind as well.  He ensures that the velocity, turbulence and buffeting of adversity is not more than I can bear.  All of these factors I am experienced with, even comfortable with.  There is another factor however, weight.

I think too often we equate the burdens we carry with the adversity we experience.  They are quite different.  Adversity enables me to soar.  Baggage prevents me from doing so.  If I am a kite and something is holding me down, despite a strong string, expert kite flyer, good sails and energetic opposition, there will be no lively adventures across the sky.  What is the baggage I am so afraid to abandon?

So, this is where I find myself today.  Held down my some weighty burden that makes me and all other aspects of the grand design quite cumbersome.

There are enormous kites out there.   Sails and spars and cables and reels and machinery capable of lifting heavy burdens into the sky on the power of the wind.  I think, inadvertently, I am spending too much time trying to beef up my system so I can lift my burdens, rather than simply, quietly, elegantly releasing them.  What is so precious to me that I'd rather lumber low, straining against a heavy wind.  Wouldn't I rather dance across the sky on a merry breeze?  Don't you suppose that the velocity of our adversity might be commensurate with the volume of weight we are hoping to lift?

I love the scriptural language related to the disposal of burdens.  Words like yield, submit, drop, give, surrender, and release come to mind.  It is interesting that such things require no more effort than simple willingness.  In fact the truth is that burdens only require effort when we are hanging on to them, not when we are giving them up.  So, why would we choose to cling so desperately to our burdens?  What is it we are so afraid might happen if we don't have our precious baggage?

So, looking back over all this, my aches and exhaustion are beginning to make sense.  Now it's just a matter of exploring on paper what it might be that is still burdening me.  For me, the process of written examination results in revelation.  God knows what I've tied to the tail of my kite that keeps me straining to get aloft.  Once He's revealed that to me, He will help me let it go, so I can fly.

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