Friday, November 4, 2011

To Fly

"they will soar on wings"
Isaiah 40:31

It was a lovely morning today.  I walked the Apple of my Eye out to his car as he left for work, and it was Brrr-chilly-autumn.  Not quite cold enough for there to be frost on the roofs.  That only happens a couple of times a year here in Southern California, and only in winter.  But still, it was the kind of weather that makes you want to go back in the house, get under a blanket, and drink something warm while reading your Bible.

But before I did, I stood for a moment, enjoying the sky and the early morning sun, and the.... crows?  Huh.  Yup.  Those are crows, alright.  How... poetic...

We have a lot of crows in our neighborhood.  There's a lot of very tall trees across the street, and they like to hang out there.  Sometimes in noisy bunches.  Or herds.  What do you call a group of crows?  I'm gonna look it up.  Oh my goodness, would you believe a group of crows is called a "murder" ??  Seriously!  Okay, I can't not use that in a sentence.  So:

"We have a lot of crows in our neighborhood.  There's a lot of very tall trees across the street, and they like to hang out there.  Sometimes in noisy murders."  Wow, that looks weird.

Well, anyhow, it's not unusual to see crows in our neighborhood, but these were doing something that is usually reserved for more majestic birds.  They were soaring.  Gliding in great wide circles over the houses without flapping their wings.  My first thought was, "I didn't know crows could do that."  And my next thought was, "Why are they doing that??"
I didn't get a pic of a crow.  So here's a picture of a soaring hawk.
Generally, the birds that soar are the big ones.  Eagles, hawks, falcons, etc.  They do it by riding on warm upward air thermals, and they do it to rest from the exertion of keeping those great bodies airborne or to stay in a certain area, while searching for food.  But I don't think these crows would be looking for food, like birds of prey.  I'm pretty sure crows are herbivores, and of course, they like stuff they can pull out of people's trashcans.  Does that make them trashivores?

So I was, and am, perplexed.  But in a wonderful, fascinated way.  I like to wonder about things like that, and this will give some wondering!

But it also got me thinking about the concept of soaring.  Gliding along, without effort.  The whole idea of birds finding drafts on which they can ride.  I want to do that.  And I think that maybe, spiritually, it's possible.

The word "soar" means two things:  it means to fly or rise high in the air; or to maintain height without using power.  Let's look at the first one.  I think flying or rising high in the air would equate to improving our walk with the Lord, or growing closer to Him.  Since the first definition doesn't say anything about not using power, I'm going to think in terms of rising with the use of power.  Rising due to flapping, if you will.  Because our growing closer to Him requires flapping on our parts ~ almost constantly.  It requires prayer ~ did you pray today?  How long ago?   And it requires reading the Bible.  When is the last time you opened your Bible?  Was it Sunday morning when your pastor started his sermon?  Listening to the pastor is listening to what God said to someone else.  That's important, but it's certainly not more important that listening to what God wants to say to you.  And I don't know about you, but I can sometimes go for a long time every day, without thinking about God.  During the day, the things of my day start to seem pretty darn important.  But they don't cause me to soar.

But oh, that second definition of soaring.  That's the wonderful one.  That's the one that makes us think of beautiful, impressive birds gliding majestically through the air, borne aloft on the sky itself.  (There.  I made that as overly poetic as I could.)  Maintaining height without power.  That's what we want.  And frankly, that's what we think we can do, almost every day.  That's why I let the things of my day distract me so much.  That's why you haven't opened your Bible since Sunday.  Because we think that the altitude we gained the last time we communed with Him, is going to keep us aloft for long periods of time.   But how long can we go?  Depends.  An eagle can soar for 15 or 20 minutes, unless the wind conditions are ideal, in which case it could stay aloft without flapping, for hours.   But if conditions aren't right for soaring, then the eagle is going to have to do the necessary work.

And so are we.  Trials and tribulations, money woes and health problems are not ideal conditions for soaring.  And frankly, neither is everyday life.  We need to flap pretty much every day.  But there are those times, when we are lifted higher, for longer, than normal and we feel we can just ride on His joy, or peace.  How?  I think the answer is in the origin of the word "soar".  It comes from the Latin for "breeze".  Wind.  The breath of God.  The Holy Spirit.  It might be something you read in Scripture.  It might be a verse that the Spirit brought to your mind at just the right moment.  It might be a song whose lyrics speak exactly to what you're feeling, and allow you to find just the right words to praise Him.   The Holy Spirit might use any of these to lift you to a new height, or prevent you from being brought down, or simply let you rest in Him.  Or it might simply be what it says in today's verse, as Isaiah points us to the source:  hope in Him.

~ "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


  1. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.Any way I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  2. I'm glad you enjoy it! God bless you!