In making our move to Florida, one of the positive factors that we encountered in the move to the home in which we now live is the convenience to a lot of our interests. Not only are we located near six golf courses, but our home is located right across the street from our neighborhood swimming pool and post office. We are just a few steps from a fitness trail, and a three-mile long walking (and running!) trail which also accommodates golf carts.
Just around the corner from our home is a dog park, where we would take our dog when we had her with us. My bride was so happy to discover especially the walking and running trails that allowed her to continue to keep up her traditional forms of exercise. And I have enjoyed joining her in the walking part of that!
During our walks, one of the phenomena we have discovered is the presence of bald eagles in this area. This symbolic representation of our nation, though seemingly rare in Ohio, is rather prominent here in Florida. In fact, on our regular walking route which takes us onto that three-mile trail, we discovered, high above our heads in one of the high power line towers which are located along that trail, a pair of bald eagles building and tending to a rather large and significant nest there.
Because the nest seemed to be a magnet for the pair, we deduced that they had most likely laid a couple of eggs there and were zealously guarding those eggs until they hatched. Our deduction proved true, when we saw the first traces of baby bald eagles, raising their heads above the edge of the nest, with beaks eagerly seeking food from their parents.
Each day, my bride and I would stop and watch the eagles’ activity and progress as the babies grew and eventually learned to fly and to fend for themselves. Now we were not alone in that endeavor, for we soon discovered that a few dozen of our neighbors from around the area would also stop in the middle of their daily walking routines to observe the eagles and their daily progress.
Interestingly, about this time last year, the eagles — all four of them, parents and two babies — disappeared, then along about November, the parents returned, refurbished the nest, and two more eggs were laid and the whole process was repeated. As we now observe, the nest is not nearly so busy, so we suspect they have all “flown the coop,” so to speak, for the season. They truly are “snow birds”!
In watching these birds in their nest, it is interesting to note that, for the most part, the parents or their young offspring were not watching us. As long as we kept our distance from them, they were not interested in who we were or what we were doing. Most of the time, until the little ones had left the nest, Mom Bald Eagle was somewhere close by — on a nearby arm of the same tower.
And Dad was not too far distant as well, usually one or two towers away, but within easy reach of the nest and the babies. And so far as we could observe from a distance (they were about 50 feet up in the top of the tower), those baby eagles kept their eyes on their parents, especially the Mom!
Call me bird-brain if you will, but we can learn something from those birds. They know, by instinct I’m sure, where to keep their eyes. They know who to look to for their food and for help in time of need. They keep their eyes on Mama Eagle, and call to her for help. If outside forces ever get too close, Mama comes screeching in, protesting with all her might, and trying to protect the little ones as best she can.
You know, that’s the way we SHOULD be. But more often than not, we just simply try to do it all on our own, and then wonder why we tend to fail when we do.
The Scriptures give us a clue in Hebrews 12:1-2: “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and…let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” To “fix our eyes on” something means to stare at, to concentrate fully on, and in a greater sense, to fully rely upon.
We are in this race called life and we’re trying to run it on our own. Our gaze, our concentration, our vision is usually on nothing but ourselves and our own strength, our own creativity and ingenuity! And while that may work for a while, the long-term success comes only when we rely on Christ, on His wisdom, on His strength, on His power!
“My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!” (Philippians 4:19)
No matter what you and I may think or plan or depend upon, no matter how big the problem we are facing or how impossible the need is, we should keep our eyes on Christ, and then just watch as He faithfully supplies our every need! Therefore, this week, take a lesson from the birds and BE A BIRD BRAIN! Keep your eyes on Jesus!
Chuck Tabor is a regular columnist for the Wilmington News Journal and the Hillsboro Times-Gazette. He is also the former Pastor of Faith Community Church in Hillsboro and Port William UMC, Port William.