I went for a walk awhile back on a blustery day here in South Dakota. As I was walking, a hawk caught my eye as I looked up at the azure blue sky. I revel in observing birds in flight, it’s fascinating to consider them effortlessly winging to and fro, doing whatever the LORD created them to do.
That particular day I observed that the hawk that can easily glide on zephyrs struggled to find the current where it could glide through the air with ease. Flap, flap, flap, flap, rest, flap, flap, flap; fluttering it’s wings against the drama of the gusty conditions. It wore me out just watching the struggle. However, I observed that the hawk didn’t give up trying to fly through the gale force wind working against it, because the LORD didn’t design it only for gentle breezes. He created it to fly, no matter the momentum of wind surrounding it.
That moment has come to my mind often as I consider the currents of my life–those times when life is a gentle breeze in which I feel as though I could soar forever, as well as those that I feel I can’t flap my wings any longer because of the momentum against me!
Do you have experiences like that? Months of soaring can pass when I sense the LORD energizing my life with zeal and fulfillment in what he has created me to be. When the consolation of the spirit is present, or at least, more keenly felt. Answered prayers, sacred exchanges with the LORD, the sense that “all is well and all manner of things are well.”*
Other times I feel that everything is effort, there is seldom a zephyr that I can glide upon. Life is topsy-turvy and there seems to be a hitch in my get-along. What I am learning is this does not seem to bother our Creator because he created me for the topsy-turvy currents of life as well. He ordains the breeze AND the gale to give me a rhythm of life that waits for him no matter what is happening around me. All he asks is that I keep being what I am created to be and to choose to abide in the him. This makes me think of the words of Isaiah:
Why do you say, O [Daughter of Mine], and speak,
“My way is hid from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary,
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to her who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young people shall fall exhausted;
but she who waits for the Lord shall renew her strength,
she shall mount up with wings like eagles,
she shall run and not be weary,
she shall walk and not faint. –Isaiah 40
As the eagle is created to cooperate with the Creator by simply mounting up her wings in order to do what she is created to do, so I find my greatest rest in cooperating with the LORD by choosing to do what I am created to do–to abide in the LORD, to worship God in all things through obedience and thanksgiving, and a fair amount of sacrifice when the winds batter my spirit. I imagine that as in the eagle mounting up with wings, I too must mount up with my wings of faith before the LORD. And then…..then the effort is enjoined by his everlasting faithfulness to me.
Lord, I enjoy the consolation of your Holy Spirit and the abundance of your love for me. I fancy the idea of soaring effortlessly through life, but my wings would weaken if living was a breeze (pun intended). Help me to cherish the breezes and give thanks for them.
I’m grateful to you for the gale, even though I’m reluctant at times to ride against a current that causes me to become weary for I know you ordain the course of my life to strengthen me in what you’ve created me to be.
And when I feel I am too wearied by all the flapping my soul’s wings have to do to stay in rhythm with your will for me, remind me to wait upon you and allow you to renew my spirit within me.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
*St. Julian of Norwich
P.S. I enjoyed this post as I considered the bird’s innate abilities. https://jonathanpomroy.wordpress.com/2020/07/22/july-22nd-little-owls-and-the-best-swift-day-of-2020/