While sitting on the porch looking out over the lake in the middle of this summer day, Ken pointed to the large bird in the air. "It is riding the thermal."
"What is a Thermal?" I dare asked.
Ken informed me that it has something to do with warm midday air hitting the ground and bouncing up, forming a wind that certain large winged birds rest in and are lifted up to greater heights...
Upon some further research, I found this: "Thermals are updrafts of warm air that rise from the ground into the sky. By flying a spiraling circular path within these columns of rising air, birds are able to 'ride' the air currents and climb to higher altitudes while expending very little energy in the process. Solitary birds like eagles and hawks often take advantage of thermals to extend their flight time as they search for food..."( Aerospaceweb.org"). Just like Ken taught me.
Eagles ride the Thermals
I find it of great interest that "Eagles... take advantage of thermals to extend their flight time..." Look at what Isaiah tells us in Isaiah 40:30-31: "Even youths grow tired and weary,and young men stumble and fall; 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." We were created to soar on wings like Eagles. We were made to ride the thermals!
The Early Bird Gets the Worms
Have you ever heard the phrase "The early bird gets the worm"? Does every bird like worms? Do Eagles eat worms? From my limited understanding, the large winged birds do not like worms. They eat meat! I for one, do not like worms! What about you?
Eagles were not created to be like the "early birds", they are bigger, more powerful and perhaps a bit less agile. Eagles, and other large winged birds, benefit from the winds of a Thermal. It makes their flying experience easier and more effective. A tiny "early bird" would not do quite so well in a spiraling thermal, nor would they find many worms.
Lessons from the winds of the Thermal
Again: "...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 30:31. It's time we learn to soar.
Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28-29
Jesus has called us to come to Him and rest, to take on His easy yoke and enjoy Him and his peace. Yet, how many can allow themselves to slow down enough to do so?
Isaiah reports "... God will speak to this people, to whom he said, 'This is the resting place, let the weary rest'; and, 'This is the place of repose'— but they would not listen." Isaiah 28:11-12
Perhaps we are wearing ourselves out trying to keep up with the "early birds", while settling for "worms", when God has created us to eat "meat" and ride upon the wind of His Spirit like Eagles.
Here is what the Apostle Paul says on the matter: "In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."
God has created us to eat "solid food", why settle for "worms"? :-)
"You are too heavenly minded"
Have you ever heard the phrase "You are so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good?" I understand the point, and it has merit. Some people are so flaky that they detract from the work of the kingdom upon the earth. Yet, there are also those who are so earthly minded that they are of no heavenly good!
Some are so busy doing what they think is "godly" that they are missing what is really of importance and value.
"The good that is the enemy of the best." ...
"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42
Martha was doing what most would do. She was busy preparing and doing. Mary was sitting at Jesus feet. Martha was troubled by Mary's lack of help (what some would classify as "lazy"). Jesus was teaching a higher way of living, "Mary has chosen what is better." Being busy is "good", but being with Jesus is the "Best"! Many settle for the good that is the enemy of the best. One thing to note, Martha gets a bad rap, but this was when Jesus first met them, so she grew from this. So will we.
Many of us are stuck being earth bound when God has called us to be heaven bound.
We are not of this world.
"If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world..." John 15:19
"My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it." Jn 17:15-16.
We have a unique calling to be in the world, as lights in the midst of darkness, but not to be of the world. We are to be in the world but not ensnared by the ways and philosophy of the world. We have been given a higher perspective.
We are seated with Christ in Heavenly places
"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus..." Ephesians 2:6
"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:1-3.
We are seated with Christ in Heavenly places, high above all rulers and principalities, and not bound by the limitations of earth. We are seated with Christ in Heavenly places!
We are to soar to greater heights and see from a higher perspective.
It is always beneficial to examine ourselves
"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test." 2 Cor. 13:5-6. Perhaps we should all evaluate ourselves and take note: Are we the "Early bird" who has settled for "worms"? Or, are we extending our wings and riding the wind of His Spirit soaring to new heights?
Greater heights await us
There is something greater that the father has for us. Are we willing to let go of what we believe is good in order to soar into what God calls great?
Remember: "...By flying a spiraling circular path within these columns of rising air, birds are able to 'ride' the air currents and climb to higher altitudes while expending very little energy in the process. Solitary birds like eagles and hawks often take advantage of thermals to extend their flight time..."
It's time we take advantage of what Christ has done for us, and learn to "ride the air currents" of His Spirit and "climb to higher altitudes", where we are seated with Christ in heavenly places, "while expending very little energy in the process", as we take hold of His easy yoke and rest with Him... this my friend will "extend our flight time" and add valuable years to our life.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer." Proverbs 9:10-11
Perhaps it is time we "mount up with wings as Eagles" and soar to new heights as one.
I trust and pray that you will thermally enjoy your journey!