Here’s the thing about kites: you can’t fly them without the wind.  But here’s the other thing about kites: when the wind comes up you’d better be ready. I mention this right at the beginning because while we talk for a minute about kites I don’t want to lose sight of the wind—and vice versa.

First the kite.  There is nothing quite like holding a kite that you have made yourself. And it only takes a couple of good sticks, paper cut to the right size (the “diamond” is still a classic), a bit of glue (the white stuff), a fabric tail, and some string—and you’ve got a kite.

That may make it seem too easy, because while most anyone can lay their hands on the raw ingredients, it does take significant skill to turn them into a flyable kite. But that’s the whole point: when you hold that kite, it feels just wonderful. You feel like an engineer and an artist and a craftsman all rolled up in one. Creating something from simple materials is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Kites capture that energy.

But what is a kite without the wind? Without the wind you can run around all day trying to get it to fly and it won’t. It’s that simple.  No one can control the wind; you can only be ready for it when it happens.

But when it happens—wow!  If you’re lucky, you’ll have someone who can hold your kite while, carefully spooling out the string, you run and tug the kite out of their hands into the breeze. The kite detects the wind and strains against the string. Up it goes, your precious creation! Up and up and up until you can barely see it—the fabric tail waving at you the whole time.  Glorious!

Like I said—here’s the thing about kites: you can’t fly them without the wind.  But here’s the other thing about kites: when the wind comes up you’d better be ready.

Every day, we come to our work, ready to make kites (metaphorically speaking). Some of the materials we use are simple, and some are quite sophisticated.

And since this is a metaphor, what does the wind stand for? Sometimes our work is powered by great need—and when those needs become known we want to be ready to respond.  Sometimes it is energized by the chance to help individuals realize their full potential and live healthier, happier lives. Sometimes it is in response to the opportunities to make a difference for a whole community or a whole group of people. Sometimes it is powered by research and discovery; other times it is fueled by paying attention to all the small things that impact excellent results. Sometimes it is just being available, ready and willing to serve, open to possibilities, opportunities, and need.

Flying a kite is an absolutely wonderful experience—if you are prepared and the wind cooperates. Not unlike the opportunities that we have in Adventist HealthCare every single day.