Monday, 4 January 2010
Prayer I (Paragliding)
Happy New Year! I have been suffering from a new disease of the mind, and only fellow-bloggers and blogettes will understand. You see, the thing is this; when one fashions oneself a little weblog, one places upon one's nose a pair of goggles. They are the 'what shall I put in my Blog next' goggles, and like an opportunist thief we start to see the world through these goggles. The theologians would have you believe that this makes us 'reflective practitioners', but I regard it more as a curse of the thinking. Thoughts like 'gotta write some more, man; gotta say summink meaningful, need blog fodder ...' are all that pervade my waking hour. If I see you on the street, beware; you may fodder become!
I have, all that said, a thought. When you gaze upon my expanded post-Christmas belly (which moves with an independance of its own I have noticed recently - no six pack here, just a catering pack), you would find yourself surprised to know that I have me a dalliance with that pastime known as 'sport'. I have a sport, friends; yes I jolly well do. No, I am not a footballist, and I do not chase after odd shaped balls with sweaty men, but rather, I like to jump off mountains. I strap to my flabby body that which can be best described as a duvet cover, and then lurch into the air with gay abandon (by which I mean gladly, not with a pink glider). I fly through the air while maintaining my very survival relying on the wholly invisible.
Those who know me personally know that I liken paragliding to my spirituality. In paragliding, the pilot takes a leap of faith into the unknown, trusting an acquired knowledge of that which is only manifest in the effect it has on other things while remaining invisible all the while. In paragliding, the 'it' is the air, in spirituality the effect of prayer. If I pray effectively I remian aloft, but if i turn away from this invisible source of bouyancy, I career to the ground and a bumpy landing. Paragliding is, at its most effect level, an active form of flight. Pilots need to fly actively and search out bigger and better sources of rising air in order to achieve a greater height. Pilots could also, if they chose to, bimble along in the light winds that deflect off of hillsides and just bob along nicely. The rewards for achieving a greater height far exceed those gained in a bimble.
Trust in the unseen, a leap of faith, practice and and active effort - these things make a good flight and they also make an effective prayer life with God. A paraglider pilot would see God as 'cloudbase', the destination for the flight; Christians have it easier, they can reach their destination the moment they take flight - so long as they wish in their hearts to make that place by their own efforts.
I look splendid in my flying suit too, skin tight and .... no, perhaps not.