Soaring by Design

Last year my son, James and I worked as wranglers at Pine Cove Christian Camp. One of my favorite things to do for the kids on the ride was to point out the eagles nest and hopefully spot one of my soaring friends for them to see. Eagles look majestic, powerful, confident, peaceful and full of grace. An eagle is happy to be an eagle.

 

By Design

An eagle…

…rests in it’s nest and watches over it’s eggs and babies.

…perches on a high limb.

…hunts for food.

…carefully teaches the babies to fly

An eagle knows it was made to soar, hunt and nest. It isn’t confused about what it is or is supposed to do. If an eagle were perched on the ground and a large predator approached, I can’t imagine the eagle trying to dig a hole like a mole or run really fast like a cheetah. No, he flaps his wings to lift his body to safety, soaring in the identity God gave him. Metaphorically, I was born to fly and so were you.

Why is it so hard to rest and enjoy the work God gives me to do? His word tells me generally what I was created for: to glorify him and enjoy him forever but he also created me to work. When he fashioned me he had something in mind but since his word doesn’t explicitly tell me what that is I have to live and love and wait and watch to see how he develops my skills and intersects them with his people. An identity, a calling emerges, but it takes time, practice, intentionality, and patience.

Discovering Design

We’re like baby eagles in this sense. When a baby eagle is ready to fly, it doesn’t know it, but the parent does. The mother first demonstrates to her baby how to flap its wings. She flaps hers and this causes its fluffy feathers to puff with air. The baby watches and feels the lift and instinctively knows his mother is showing him something important. The next thing the mother does is use her powerful beak to tear the soft, cozy nest into pieces so that it’s not very comfortable any more. She demonstrates flapping some more and the baby watches and begins to mimic the motions. When the mother knows its ready for a real flight lesson, she screeches loudly, swoops down and puts the eaglet on her wing. They go up 5,000, 6,000 or maybe 7,000 feet. She swoops and soars around the sky. All of a sudden she tips her wings and the baby falls off. He turns head over tail, flipping and turning, trying to flap its wings. Just before the baby hits the ground, mother eagle dips down and places him on her wings, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000….7,000 feet she soars and then tips her wings again dropping the baby off to its second opportunity to realize his design. The process is repeated until the baby soars like an eagle should. The mother never gives up and thinks, “This particular baby can’t learn, therefore I must teach him to dig or run.” She is certain of his design and pursues it until he masters the skill.

As women, we doubt our design.

Newly married we wonder how to be a good wife.

We cry out to God. And he answers.

Our first baby reveals to us how much we don’t know about mothering.

We cry out to God. And he answers.

When the Lord settles us about the part of our design regarding being a wife and mother we branch out in other acts of service, new doubts arise.

We cry out to God. And he answers.

Resting in the Designer

Our design is so much bigger than we can imagine and thankfully we don’t have to see in order to believe. Just like mother eagle, God knows our design. He knows when to make the nest uncomfortable. He doesn’t expect us to leave the nest on our own. He knows we need the help and the safety of his arms to lift us out of our comfort zone. He tips his wing and we twist and wiggle and shout and cry while we learn the new skill necessary to soar in our design. It’s uncomfortable and scary, but we can be certain of one thing: Jesus knows what he’s doing. He’s always near. He will catch us before we hit the ground and take us back for more training.

An eagle soars high in the sky catching air under it’s wings, relaxing and enjoying the grace God gives it.

I want to enjoy God this freely.

Isaiah 40:31

but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Is it easy for you to enjoy the grace of God freely?

What new thing in your life is causing you to doubt your design?

Have  you recently started a home based business and  you’re wondering if you’re messing up your family? What are your dounts?

How has God shown  you his design for  you? Did you struggle to accept it?

Living Outside the Lines Rests in the Designer

 

 

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Comments

  1. I’m learning my design as a writer at this moment. Do I plot, or do I fly by the seat of my pants. The world of words that I ache for can only be found in the Word. My Bible reading has become the heart of most of my planning:)

  2. This was so powerful, Ali! Thank you so much for sharing and turning our eyes to the Creator! I love studying creation because it always turns our eyes to see how all was created so perfectly with purpose, and in turn, that encourages me to see the same is true for me! Thanks, again!

  3. Thanks, Ali, for this powerful reminder of how we can trust God! I loved your detailed descriptions of how the mother eagle cares for her babies, even willing to make them uncomfortable and even seemingly put them into danger, but all for a purpose. How often I question God for the discomfort he allows in my life and I even often accuse Him of putting me in "senseless danger" but only because of my unbelief! Thanks for the reminder that all I have to do is trust Him!

  4. I know this wasn't the point of this lovely and thoughtful post, but I have to ask….Where is Pine Cove Christian Camp? I live and work in the Laurel Highlands of SW Pennsylvania and I just saw a car this morning with a Pine Cove bumper sticker.

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