Last weekend we had a wedding, my youngest son Ray married a wonderful young lady named Victoria. I cannot put any pictures on here because that is up to Ray and Victoria to share their pictures first and they are away. So, I will tell you that it was a wonderful and beautiful occasion. (Here is their engagement photo).
I gave a speech at the reception and I want to offer the theme as a guide for all of us to follow. It is about Eagles. I did not realize that the Bible mentions eagles over 30 times. God likes these birds, they are highly esteemed in the Bible.
Eagles mate for life, they are committed to each other.
The female will test the male who is looking to mate with her to see if he will be suitable. This is a very smart move on the part of all females, not just eagles, do not assume he is the one, unless he has proven himself. The female eagle takes a stick and goes up quite high and drops it, if the male eagle catches it, she then takes the stick higher and drops it again. She will continue to do this for hours with different sticks and if the male fails to catch a stick, she will fly away signalling that the courtship is over.
If he catches all of the sticks that she dropped then he is the one and the female will chose him to be her partner.
The courtship may also include what is called a death spiral. This is where the male and female interlock talons and circle around and around high in the air and they will spiral down at a furious speed until they almost hit the ground and then they disengage.
The eagle, is a majestic, powerful, forceful and watchful bird with amazing eyesight. Eagles have 2 sets of eyelids; this gives the advantage of being able to look directly at the sun. If they are threatened or in danger, the eagle closes one set of eyelids and flies directly into the sun. The predators cannot follow because they cannot see.
Eagles are kind of like King of the birds.
Another cool fact about eagles is that they do not spend much energy flapping their huge wings. Eagles are created to soar and they take full advantage of the winds, they fly up and catch the winds and let the wind do the work. As believers in God, He wants us to do this as well. God says “cast all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7. Let God take the bulk of the work and worry and learn to soar on His grace and favour. So many of us are rushing around, flapping our wings and getting exhausted, trying to be good enough, perfect enough and God says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11: 28. He offers us His wind to soar on.
Zoologists confirm that a majority of eagle deaths occur because the eagle tries to fly like other birds, flapping it’s wings, instead of learning how to use the wind. Those heavy wings get too burdensome and the eagle gets too tired. We need to learn how to use the wind of God- the Holy Spirit in our lives to soar above our circumstances and not be crushed under them.
The father and mother dote on the little eaglets and the eaglets start to get very comfy in their large nest. Did you know that an eagle’s nest can weigh over 2 tons and be over 9 feet across! A very comfy nest indeed. The parents feed the eaglets by bringing food to them, they shelter them from the weather with their wings, the parents protect the young ones from danger. The little eaglets find little reason to have to leave the nest (a lot like some of our children – we make life too easy for them). However just like our children, an eaglet sitting in a nest, is not what they were created for – they were created to soar and they cannot do that sitting in the nest (or in our comfy homes).
Momma eagle goes to town if the eaglets seem to not be getting the hint that it is time to fly, she stops bringing the babies food, sometimes she brings nothing for days. The babies start to hop from nest to branches but it is afraid to start to fly. Remember the nests are usually way up high in a cleft or tall, tall tree, it is a long way down. If the eaglets are still not trying to fly, she starts ripping the nest apart (again we parents can learn a lesson from the eagle). She makes the eaglets life very uncomfortable and the eaglet is forced to try out his wings and fly, sometimes she helps with a little push.
God can do this as well, if we get too comfy, or set in our ways, He likes to push us to the edge of our comfort zone and do a little push, forcing us to try out new skills.
I found out that ravens can kill eagles. They attack the eagle at the back of the neck and hang on until they cripple the eagle and bring it down. Ravens also usually do not work alone, a group can take an unfair advantage when the eagles are often solitary in flight.
But eagles are smarter – they have a God given gift of knowledge that if they take the raven higher and soar up high where the oxygen is rare, the raven will starve for oxygen and fall off, freeing the eagle from its grip.
Think about that: The eagle goes higher.
In this brand new adventure that Ray and Victoria are embarking on, there are going wonderful times, fun times, prosperous times, serious times, and sometimes there will be struggling times.
In those times where it feels like a struggle and they will have those times, because they are human beings from different families, from different cultures, from different perspectives and when we live together sometimes those differences are “cute and fun” and sometimes, they can be downright annoying. Other times they can be painful and hurtful. All of us at some time in a relationship or at work or school or in a family will think, “why did he do that? Or How could he forget that? Or even I can’t believe she said that!”
In those moments, I challenge you, do not pick up the phone to call and text your friends to vent, neither should you call your family. What you should do is like the eagle – “take it higher”, take that problem higher. Starve the oxygen out of it.
Remember the eagle took it higher and got free.
What does it look like to take it higher? You do not have the 6’ wingspan of the eagle to soar above the clouds. In human perspective to take it higher means you bend your knee, and bow your head.
You take that thing that is emotionally attacking you and you hold it up to your Father, who in fact can do something about it. You offer up that other person or the problem to God. The one who can right wrongs, mend hearts and bring peace in the storm.
When you take this approach to life you will learn to soar like eagles as well.