Hot air balloons are popular in this part of the country with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, an annual event that brings people from all over the world just to experience it. One morning, there is a mass ascension of 700 or more balloons going up into a bright blue sky within 1 1/2 hours. And it's quite amazing to watch. Would you like to climb into a basket and take a balloon ride?
That is the basis of F. LaGard Smith's 2nd chapter of Meeting God in Quiet Places: the Cotswold Parables. In this chapter, LaGard compares the trust a person must have to fly in a balloon--the ability to trust that someone will take you up and bring you down again safely--to trusting the invisible God with your life. We are sometimes willing to trust another person that we can actually see, but we aren't likely to trust an invisible power that we can't see. And isn't faith in the unseen what faith is all about?
His whole idea is apparent when comparing the way one may see the beautiful balloon drifting lazily through the air and think about how lovely it would be to ride in it, or even running after it and watching it float along. But the real question is: Would you climb into the basket and take a ride? The same is true of climbing into God's basket and trusting Him to control your life. And again, you may feel that being in God's basket is a bit confining, and that having to do things His way goes against the grain. But isn't that a normal human reaction?
Have you ever really given up control to God, been dependent on God, and felt how freeing it is?
LaGard says: "Jesus talked about the kind of freedom that is really free. 'If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed,' said Jesus. What makes us really free? In the words of Jesus 'the truth will set you free.' The truth that we are never in control even when we think we are. The truth that a life without God is the most fearful life anyone can live. The truth that the most fulfilled people in the world are those who have 'let go and let God'."
Letting go isn't all that easy, is it? You cling to your fears and stay on the ground. You cling to your fears and stay out of God's basket. What is preventing you from climbing into the basket and taking off with God? What is preventing others? You may decide to run after God--to seek a relationship with Him. But the running and the seeking are replacements for actually letting go of everything that is holding you back and knowing true freedom.
Compare the feeling of letting go of control when you take a ride in a hot air balloon to letting go of everything and letting God control your life. You can choose to experience the exhilaration and freedom that knows no bounds, just like floating in a big, colorful hot air balloon! Have a wonderful Sunday!