I have thought of this many times as one of the missed opportunities in my life—although I will say that some of the people who love me are just as happy that I didn’t try to keep flying little planes! It causes me to reflect on other missed opportunities along the way, and to wonder how my life might have been enriched if I had been more open to figuring things out that I didn’t understand.
One of my problems is that I don’t like to be in a position where I am not in control. Like many people, I don’t want to leave my comfort zone. I don’t want to feel foolish while I try to learn about something. I somehow imagine that I am already supposed to know about things that others have mastered. It really comes down to my ego. It is so difficult to be humble enough to accept myself where I am at any point along the road, which opens the door to the possibility of learning and growing.
I wonder how many of us shy away from things that we don’t understand, or actively push them out of our lives, because it makes us feel uncomfortable to give up a sense of familiarity, mastery, comfort, security, or being in control. Just ask someone who is not a gadget freak to get a new cell phone! How easily we can be daunted by something new.
The people reacting to Jesus in John's gospel this week seem to be suffering from this affliction. Jesus offers something so new and beyond human understanding that many people simply refuse to engage, preferring to deny the possibility that there could be anything real or true about what he is offering, which is nothing short of a share in his very life, the life of God.
OK, so maybe flying is a little dangerous and not worth the risk. Getting a new cell phone? I’ll leave that one up to you. But allowing Christ to live in you by being humble enough to say that you don’t know what it means, but you’ll try it and figure it out? Don’t let that be a missed opportunity.
Take your next step: Think about an opportunity that you allowed to pass by in your life. Ask God for the humility and courage to be open to something new that you don’t yet understand.