Kites, Bikes and Other ‘Firsts’

The first time I flew a kite was not pretty. I was with my nieces on the beach—they are about 20 years younger than me and about 100 times more advanced at kite flying.

I ran as fast as I could and dragged my kite behind me. It was in the air, but only because it bounced on and off the sand as a pulled it. But because of those bounces (some had a little air!) I counted the attempt as my first time flying. My nieces and my brother and sister in law, well, they mostly laughed at me.

I thought flying a kite would be easy, but it was very difficult. I realized that a lot of things had to be a certain way for it to work…the material of the kite had to be good, the string long enough and untangled, and most importantly, the breeze had to be just right.

A few weeks ago, I got myself onto a bike for the first time in over a decade. The proverbial “they” say that you can’t forget how to ride a bike.


As I wobbled left and right, white knuckling the handlebars trying to go in a straight line, I cursed inside my head. This was not how I remembered bike riding. As a teenager I was a great bike rider. I could ride up and down hills and steps, skid with my bike, and even ride with no hands for short distances. Now I could barely keep myself upright.

That’s the thing about firsts—they can sometimes look and sound deceivingly simple.

I didn’t give up on either, and eventually, I flew a kite in the air, and rode my bike in a straight line (but to be honest, I still have some work to do on the bike riding).

Both tasks gave me a sense of accomplishment and joy—and that’s something to be proud of. The same can be said of your spiritual life. Maybe you never said the Rosary or read the Bible before. It might be hard at first, but don’t give up! It’s well worth the effort, and the sense of accomplishment, and just how far and how high you can go is all up to you.


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