One of my favorite annual events was held here in Snowmass Village last weekend.  The Snowmass Village Balloon Festival is a clear sign summer is over and snow is just ahead.  For those of you who have been here during the occasion, seeing the sky filled with balloons of every color is spectacular.

Last Friday, the first day of the event, I was in my office working on a sermon.  It was a sunny day.  As I sat glued to the computer screen, suddenly my office became quite dark.  I looked out the window and was shocked to see a balloon bumping into the side of the deck off my office followed by a thump.  Quickly, the entire balloon deflated.  Soon the balloon covered much of the roof.

“How is it going?” I called out.  “What does it look like?” was the terse reply.  Fortunately no one was hurt, although the balloon sustained tears in several places.  In the middle of the chaos, our police and fire department arrived.  After assessing the situation, using ladders, they removed the balloon from the roof and that was that.

After chatting with the balloon crew, I headed back to my office to work on my sermon.  As I wrote, I was interrupted by several thoughts. “That was a different happening.  Quite unusual.  I have to wonder if God is trying to tell me that, like a balloon, I too am filled with hot air?

As with much in life, there are lessons imbedded within the balloon story.  We can set a course for a destination, but due to the uncontrollable, we don’t always end up where we plan.  When we get into trouble, often people around us come to our aid.  And when we are stuck, it’s generally best not to try and resolve the situation on our own, but rather be open to any help that is offered.

Like a balloon that goes nowhere on its own, neither ultimately can we without our loving God who makes it all possible and comes along side of us when we are in a heap of deflated trouble.  For this and other reasons, I love balloons, even when they come for an unexpected visit.