Flying Free – The Way to Heaven’s Gate
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, (Hebrews 12v1)
For the last ten years or so summer for me has meant spending time in the air and amongst those who find freedom in flying.
In my role as chaplain to 356 (Felixstowe) squadron Air Cadets and also as the father and retrieve driver for our eldest son Timothy (a hang glider pilot) summer is spent climbing in and out of Chinooks, drooling over very fast fighter planes, or listening to the whisper of the wind as a thermal of rising air gently carries our son off into the wide blue yonder.
At least twice every summer I pack a rucksack and go on my travels to a temporary billet. If I’m lucky it is the Officer’s Mess on an RAF Station or a French gîte, but sometimes it is a caravan in a field or a tent at the foot of a Spanish mountain. Wherever I rest my head I am continually learning to travel light, and as the years progress items that used to be indispensable are now gathering dust in a corner of the Vicarage garage.
The first rule of flying is to jettison excess weight.
The easiest way to travel is to carry as light a load as possible.
The best way to live is with empty hands.
Travelling with too much weight slows you down, makes you look inward too often, and robs you of joy.
So too, with the Christian journey. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews reminds us that to ‘run the race’ we must not allow ourselves to be hindered by ‘every weight and the sin that clings so closely’.
Too often I find that I cannot move onward in the journey of faith because I am weighed down by a past failing and have not realised I am forgiven or because I have allowed the hurt caused by another to fester in my soul and instead of running homeward, I limp and hide from the light of God’s love.
I believe that our generous loving God will, in the fullness of time gather every single one of us in the everlasting arms and transport us to Paradise. Because I know the cross shaped cost of that lavish love I do not want to be too heavy a weight to carry. For this reason I make it my aim to leave as much of the clutter of my life behind as I reach for the skies.
In the next two weeks I will have the privilege of listening to the world move under my feet as I sit atop Le Chabre de Montéglin and allow more of the detritus of my life to be stripped away so that I may be able to fly more freely into the arms of the Beloved. I pray that you as well in the remains of the summer will be able to find a trysting place with God where you will be able to renew your love and also ‘lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely’
Pax et Bonum
This blog was published in the September 2018 edition of the newsletter of the Parish of Felixstowe
© Andrew Dotchin 2018