Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Clinging to the Hot Air Balloon

I’m an only child. 

That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I was at a seminar with the Junior League of Las Vegas in Pasadena, California over the past weekend.

It was a series of questions that began, “Who are you?”

Well, and then, that was the only question that was asked. The questioning went on for two minutes and I came up with a total of 16 adjectives and descriptive words and phrases. 

  • Only child
  • Friend
  • Volunteer
  • Professional
  • Emotional person
  • Sensitive person
  • Stubbornly thoughtful
  • Someone who lives in Las Vegas
  • in-Between everything
  • A Christian
  • student of philosophy
  • fan of crisis management
  • news nut
  • wine drinker
  • caffeine addict
  • middle of the road

Yes, that’s what I look like to myself when asked, repeatedly, over and over again, on a Saturday mid-morning without much coffee or sleep the night before.

What’s interesting about this is that the first thing that came to mind was, “Only child.”

On the ride down to Pasadena, someone discussed with me their concerns about raising an only child. I offered up my fears and my own memories.

“I felt lonely at times,” I said. “But, mostly, I worry about being alone when my parents are gone.” 

I explained one of the best parts about being an only child is that we choose our family.

Fast forward a few nights, and here I am having a discussion, via text message, that bounces right off of this concept. 

Here’s the conversation and it’s edited for your pleasure:

Me: Us lonely only’s just surf the ride of life until we find friends who can sustain the wave. And therefore, we stay upright.
Friend: Exactly! We’ll keep supporting each other as friends and as sisters. You’ve done very well rising the surf!
Me: You’ve got that right! This world is too big and too hard to wade waters alone. And, one day, when my parents are gone - I will be alone. 
Friend: We have to cling to those we love, and I’ll be there right there with you whenever you need me.
Me: Thank you. And yes,
And here comes the part that I want to reiterate to anyone who is willing to listen.
“Clinging may not be the right word, but I do often use the illustration of hanging onto the basket of a hot air balloon - even when it might be falling - not wanting to let the others crash alone.
And, so that we can also rise to see the sunrises and sunsets of their lives... When the fire is burning bright.” 

So, who are you?

1 Peter 4:8-11 (NIV)
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers
a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another
without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has
received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s
grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks he should
 do it as if speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should
do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things
God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory.”

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