Thanks to the internet, I just got to view photos of an amazing event happening practically in our grandsons’ backyard in Texas. A giant, colorful balloon with a basket full of people descended, landing just a few houses away, judging from the photographs. We had seen the same thing happen when we were there visiting last summer, but we didn’t approach the balloon; it looked as if it had landed in a nearby pasture beyond the obstructing view of homes. This time the camera captured the boys, as well as the rest of neighborhood children, running to catch the landing and examine the balloon up close. Then they posed beside it as it lay on the ground like a colorful beached whale. What an exciting event!
Kyle, 13, and Brad, 10, love to fly. They’ve taken several flights to Florida for Disney vacations, and once, prior to take-off, the captain even let them sit in the pilot’s seat, wear his impressive hat, and pose for pictures. Kyle, especially has always been fascinated with airplanes. He loves to practice simulated landings on a realistic computer program he has. I’ve always gotten him imaginative paper airplane books as gifts, and this year, I gave him a calendar with a paper airplane to fold for each day of the week. His dad, our son, Trevor, was the same way. In fact, I half-expected him to become a pilot. As a young teen, Trevor was a member of the Civil Air Patrol, and as such, once got to go up in a WWII cargo plane on a storm-watching mission. It was the thrill of his young life. Now he routinely flies for business, but I’m not sure the thrill is the same.
There seems to be something innate within man to want to fly, as evidenced from the primitive failed attempts throughout history, to the success of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk. A poem that beautifully captures that yearned-for goal from one who achieved it is “High Flight”, by a young pilot, John Gillespie Magee, Jr.:
"Oh! I have slipped the surly bands of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings,
Sunward, I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds,--and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of--wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence, hov'ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…
Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew--
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."
Someday, all who’ve trusted Jesus will have that yearning to fly satisfied when we meet Him in the air (I Thess. 4:17); and when the holy city, the New Jerusalem, descends out of heaven (Rev. 21:2, 10), that will be a landing that transcends any other.