The “Catch 22” of life has tricked us, or there is a bind on us that seems to have no exits or hidden passageways so you thought. This past year, past week, past few days had plenty of these for all of the world. Didn’t this past year, past week, past few days also have great moments of calm like a calm lake when you are setting your fishing pole out at the first sunset or the tender joy seeing a new youngster’s first months of life and dependence on his or her parents and family? Often what looks like the bleakest times of life are defined before they are truly even experienced. Can you pause your mind and your mouth at a moment’s notice to take in all of the new life experience? Are you like I am often times reacting to the experience even before I have truly enjoyed it and understood all of it? Perhaps, this is the desire of instant gratification.
God’s miracles can be most defined many times in the bleakest times of life. Isn’t it His Light of tender eyes, care, and mercy that we can behold? Even in those times there is a warmth of his presence in our faith? Sometimes you need to just get closer to that warmth of God, His Son Jesus, and improve that relationship all over again. It begins at the heart, and it is also what saves the heart in the process.
Consider the love you have for others, yourself, and even the Maker of the Universe, and remember His eyes are upon everyone.
“The eyes of the Lord are everywhere. keeping watch on the wicked and the good” Proverbs 15:3 (N.I.V.)
Soaring eagles do not make the most challenging flight patterns or draining exercises their favorite. Every stage of the flight of life is filled with what makes one emotionally satisfied, drained or lonely. Stepping out in faith, one must seek the kind of faith and trust to ask for help at any time. Saying to God, “let me wait upon you and trust in you so I might soar like the eagles.” It is interesting how the flight of the eagle doesn’t question his/her lack of strength, wing span, speed, or size. However, questioning our own abilities does lack the patience and persistence to wait in the stages of life that require waiting the most.
Taking a lesson from the eagle, one can observe these eagles have great wing spans, but did you notice, as Jennifer Randell, CPN Eagle Aviary Manager details, that the wing span of the female is eight feet in contrast to the male’s six feet wing span? (Citizen Potawatomi Nation). One can also see the size differences in the eagle as well females tend to be larger in size and weight helping with their nurturing and protecting roles over the nests. The weight of the female is usually ten to fifteen pounds more than the male. The males size allows for better ease of hunting and making provision for the nestlings. Together these two establish loyalty to each other and to their offspring with rarely a recommitment to another after the death of a mate (Citizen Potawatomi Nation).
The strengthening is not just in the size of the wing, but it is in the waiting. When observed, the BALD EAGLE site, details the physical characteristics of the eagle’s strengths. They have long, large wings, a short neck, and short legs. These short legs make preparing for flight by tucking them in the safety of their own dependable feathers. As the eagle is in flight it will take only “two minutes per hour” for the eagle to actually flap his/her wings because this is enough for the eagle to feel content and fully able to satisfy the level of energy needed. (www.learner.org) The confidence of the eagle relies upon his physical characteristics and qualities, but he/she also remains in a positive and powered glide rather than a painstaking, flapping journey.
The upward and motivated flight of the eagle inspires a metaphor for the individual waiting upon God. I trust that in the hoping and waiting we will learn to soar.
“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (N.I.V.)
Let my heart speak and my mind listen. I try not to force my mind to think something but instead let my heart and mind speak for themselves. There are times when indecision would like to complicate good and joyful choices, and sometimes it is our past that makes us sink into not making a choice that is available and there for the rightful taking.
I have been examining what this whole thought of JOY really is as I have been reading Choose Joy because Happiness Isn’t Enough by Kay Warren. Truthfully, this author is believable because of her experiences. She is co-founder with the pastor and her husband Rick Warren of, Saddleback church, an evangelical megachurch of several thousand members. One key thought I take designed on my own from her book is about the heart. The heart is mechanical in that it does it’s daily routine to pump the blood to all areas of the body; however the heart is also permeable in that it influences the thoughts of the mind and takes in a wealth of emotions like love. When the heart wants to think the mind needs to answer and vice versa.
Sometimes we are not sure which part of our being is truly telling the truth, so we need an answer to our questions in our heart. Kay Warren describes in her book that this was also the life of the tribes and people of the Bible. Take for instance the Israelites centuries ago when they forgot the power source of God in their hearts and minds. She explains at this time they had been freed from slavery which would have been very freeing to the heart and mind, but their heart and mind was very soon tricked to follow after other gods and make idols for themselves. The Israelites centuries ago, may have had questions in their mind like “What is next, we’ve been fed manna from heaven daily and had a cloud to follow with us, but where are you now God?” Maybe they instead said, I am not hungry but fed, and I am just bored what can I do with myself maybe this idol will be entertaining to make, to talk to, to believe in and that will show my success? Kay describes the human attempt to not choose God as the source of joy as Jeremiah describes relying on a “cistern for water” instead of a “living spring.” “Cisterns, unlike living springs, Warren explains were large pits dug into rocks that were used to collect rainwater. Not only was the water in cisterns dirty, but it could also easily run out if the rains were light that year.”
“but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14 NIV
God offers all a true source of living water and that is Jesus. Allowing the mind and heart to listen to his truth is cleansing and brings JOY. What might one become by accepting his living water?