|Photo by Rachel Pfuetzner on Unsplash|
Three ways an eagle stays in the air
This morning on my walk, I had the opportunity to watch a bird hunting (eagle or hawk, not sure). I watched for a good 5-10 minutes. You know what I never saw? Flapping wings. He was up there just soaring on the high mountain winds and looking for his prey. His wings were fully extended the entire time, he'd fly with the wind and gain momentum and then turn against the wind and rise up higher, all without flapping his wings.
As I pondered this, here is what I felt I heard:
He was designed to do that. His wings aren't tired from holding them out against the wind, they lock in that way and he can do that for hours, as long as the wing sustains him. He only flaps his wings to get up into the air, once there, he soars.
Flapping Wings & Pruning
Just like this eagle/hawk, we sometimes need to exert effort in our rise to overcome the obstacles that keep us grounded. We may have to put in a lot of effort to get off the ground. This means that when you wake up with depression trying to drag you down, thoughts attacking you, tears falling because you know the thoughts aren't true but your heart still believes them...
It's time to get up anyway. Get out of bed, get dressed, and go for a walk (or whatever feeds your soul). You have to tell those thoughts they have no authority over you (I mean it, out loud, tell them no!). You have to get your body moving because it has a physical place to play in the biochemical processes that lead to depression. You may have to do a lot of flapping that morning when leaving the nest.
Sometimes Eagles have to tear out all their feathers and grow new ones to be in tip-top shape. You may have to tear out and tear down the thoughts that have kept you bound. This may mean taking it to solid friends who will challenge these thoughts, a counselor, a pastor, whoever you need to. Take them before God and ask Him to reveal the lies you've believed and the Truth you need to see and own.
Once you are in the air (past that moment of depression), you will find that it's much easier to stay in the air. You were made to soar in life. It's what you were designed and equipped to do.
You find your days just go better when your thoughts are aligned with God's. You find you're less moody and irritable. You find you are more joyful and peaceful which attracts others to you naturally.
But what really matters, is now that you are freely soaring, you are free to ignore all the effort that got you there, and you can just focus on the things in front of you. You can now be "present" or "in the moment" more often. Your natural giftings and talents come out. You aren't even trying. That eagle/hawk wasn't worried about his flight. He wasn't even aware of what it took to stay in the air. He just had his eye out for the next opportunity.
Opportunities to influence will pass you by when you are so focused on yourself that you can't see anything else.
Opportunities to influence others happen without you trying to find them when you are free. You aren't paying attention to yourself, you are free to see the world around you, observe, you are ready for anything that may come your way and you recognize it for what it is when it comes. You are also moving as your soar, not stationary, so you happen across more opportunities.
Using the Wind
Something else I noticed. The eagle/hawk didn't get beaten down by the high winds on that mountain. He used them to his advantage. The very thing working against you can now be the tool you use. It's the weights in your spiritual gym. It's the resistance bands in your workout. It's the only as the winds come against you that you can let them pass over you and use that momentum and the law of lift to rise up higher and higher. Now that you are free of all that effort, you do it without flapping your wings, it comes naturally to you.
Go be an eagle/hawk!
1a. Flap your wings: use the tools that God's given you to take authority over your inner life and choose new thoughts.
1b. Clean your feathers: uproot, pull out, and tear down any thoughts that are lodged in your heart that do not represent your best self, the one you were created and designed to be.
2. Soar: Now that you've gotten up, you are free to stop paying attention to yourself at all. Look for opportunities as they arise. Keep moving. You never know what you'll find around the corner.
3. Use Resistance: when things come against you, use that to your advantage. Let that be your gym. Let that give you lift. Let the attempt of the enemy to tank your morning be the very thing you use to get up and have another victory for yourself, and the very thing that drives you to your opportunity to do it for someone else.
Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!