Summary: Using the illustration of a balloon to show how we are to full-filled in God, and to rejoice in him.
One Sunday afternoon in late February, my family and I went out to brunch after the morning’s worship services. Upon leaving, my girls asked the hosts if they could have a balloon. Certainly they said – what color? So, my two youngest each were given a balloon, a huge helium-filled balloon. The balloons were filled so full that they could have popped at any minute.
I was so nervous on the drive home, because normally the girls like to play with the balloons in the car, which to be honest can be a little distracting for me when I drive – but on this Sunday I was really nervous because the balloons were just so filled with air that they could pop at any moment.
Well, we made it; we got home and all was OK – the balloons made it, and so did my sanity. But, we hadn’t been in the door for more than a few minutes before one the balloons just went bang – it was so filled up, without an opportunity to breathe out any of its air, that it just exploded.
I don’t remember whose balloon popped, but I do remember the girls were quite upset – their new balloons had just been given to them and now one of them was without. I didn’t want to see the girls so upset, so knowing that mom was going to the store, I asked her to get some balloons.
So, away mom went to Target; she came home and sure enough she had bought some balloons. I tell ya, those balloons didn’t stay in their package for very long. The girls got a-hold of those balloons, and inflated almost every single one of them… almost before we knew what was going on. We had to put the rest of them up – that didn’t last long either.
For me, it was so much fun watching them breathe life from their lungs into those balloons. Having all those balloons around had given them so much simple pleasure. But their joy didn’t just stop there. They took magic markers and drew faces on the balloons – how much fun is that? They had all of these “imaginary” inflated balloon people around that they had breathed life into. They played with those balloons all afternoon – in their room, in the living room, and then they took them over to share with their neighbors to play with them in community. See, these inflated balloons weren’t just for them; they were for the community to enjoy too.
Ya know – you, me, all of us together – we’re a lot like balloons. Now, we’re not made of rubber and we’re not made in some factory somewhere. But, we are flesh and blood and we have lungs in our bodies – and, in many ways, our lungs resemble what balloons look like – or the other way around. Anyway, we’re a lot like balloons in that we are created stuff – or substance if you will. But, instead of being made in a factory, we are made in the wombs of our mothers. And even though we’re given form inside our mother’s womb - it isn’t our mothers who makes us or forms us – but rather someone all together different. And with that, we are made in the mold of those who have come before us, and they before them, and so and so forth. If we go back far enough, there was once just one balloon, and archetype of sorts (or mold) that we are all molded “in the image of” – one perfect balloon.