Why Can’t We Fly?

May 20, 2023 | Articles, by Luke Walker, Marrow Ministries Free Content

Oh, we will. Just not yet. For now, life on Earth weighs us down. As one of our own poets has said:

Only the gods can watch the earth twist

I’m physically trapped down on the surface[1]

The reason for this is, of course, the pesky force of gravity. But did you ever stop to think what life would be like without it? Imagine floating around helplessly when the CO2 in your jet-boost “Air” Jordan’s runs out. And nobody wants to see a lost puppy float off into the stratosphere when her gravity-collar runs out of battery. (Poor girl. Hey, how are we making all that stuff, anyway?). As we can see, gravity is a true friend to mankind. The poet said it keeps us trapped, but let us say it keeps us grounded, safe, and sound upon our beautiful home planet. Grounded is not always a bad word.

Not that anyone is asking for a zero-gravity situation. We want to overcome gravity. And we don’t just want personal mechanisms to help us do so (that would be cool, though); we want to fly ourselves. Iron Man is dope, but Superman inspires wonder because he has realized our ancient dream of true human flight. We don’t have that now, but I believe we will one day, on the Day when faith becomes fligh…er, sight.

There would be many that preached, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt soar.” Click To Tweet

Why do we have to wait till then? Because in our present condition, flying would go straight to our heads. Imagine the (very imperfect) Christians you know suddenly gaining the ability to fly. We would become outstanding jerks (church basketball leagues would be lit, though). Who could tell you anything if you could hold your own personal T-minus lift off into the literal sky whenever you pleased? Sure, you couldn’t breathe very high, and it would get really cold really fast. But let’s be honest: we’re not spiritually mature enough to handle that kind of power (and enjoyment). Even the humblest saint in the world would have at least a little chip on their cape-laden shoulder.

This is the reason we are not quite ready for all the other wonders of the age to come either. Endless wealth. Perfect physical life. Unbelievable success in everything we put our minds to. These wines are too strong for this side of glory. Because the motions of sin remain in our saved hearts, we would sour such sweet gifts in no time. And not just by pride. Idolatry, jealousy, and hatred would show their hideous faces as well.

Instead of all this, God gives us trouble, care, sorrow, failure, and ultimately death to ground us like gravity. They keep us humble. Obstacles, challenges, trials, and downright bad days work together to remind us how much we need Jesus every day. One day we won’t need them anymore, but for now, they are for our good.

They are also for the good of others. If believers got it all right now, people would trust Jesus for the stuff instead of salvation. There would be many that preached, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt soar.” And what connection would we have with our all-too-human neighbors? It brings to mind pictures of the millennial kingdom as some imagine it: glorified, sinless saints living next door to unfortunate sin-bound believers for a thousand years (not to mention their unsaved neighbor down the street, who enjoys neither salvation nor sanity at this point).

One day we will step into the powers of the new cosmos. Presently, we are like the Pevensie children when they wandered out of Narnia back into the Wardrobe in England: after reigning on thrones as grown-ups, they must adapt to being ordinary children living ordinary childhood lives once again. Christians may feel the same way: after ascending to the very thresholds of heaven in our conversions, we must continue on with the troubles of ordinary life. After tasting the powers of the age to come we must go on with our little lives in the present evil age. But let us be grateful even for this. God’s amazing grace has left us no room for complaint. He knows best what we need and when we need it.

So that’s why we can’t fly. And do all the other cool stuff that’s coming our way. Yet.

[1] Nas, “Streets Dreams,” It Was Written.

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