My first post after my 31 Days Writing Challenge where I read and blogged through the book of Sirach and I’m going to quote from Sirach again! Today I want to consider inspiring Bible quotes. I was recently reading The Way by St Josemaria Escriva and came across this quote…
And that quote instantly made me think of this verse from Isaiah…
“…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.”
Which made me think of this verse in Sirach…
“…he encourages those whose endurance is failing.”
Kind of a If You Give a Mouse a Cookie trail isn’t? But now that we’re here, let’s start looking at and considering these inspiring Bible quotes and appropriately related quote from St Josemaria Escriva.
One of my most favorite things to do is watch the chickens scratch around our yard. (Hi There!) They walk intentionally, always looking for the small bugs and seeds that I cruise right on by because I’m not paying close attention. Not only are they intentional about finding their food, they are also intentional about taking in their food…they do it quick, sometimes for fear another hen will come take it from them.
But they are also, do I say it? They are also big chickens; the slightest noise or shadow can make them run and half fly across the yard to what they think is a safer, more concealed spot. And the Guinea Hens, they are easily spooked and then in a loud clamor…really loud…they half run–half fly to shelter. And that’s what I thought of when read St Josemaria Escriva’s words, those noisy, scared, barnyard hens.
But when I consider these inspiring Bible quotes from the books of Isaiah and Sirach, I think of the hawks we have around our place. Now I know God and St Escriva mention eagles, but I don’t know that I have ever seen an eagle fly, other than on PBS Nature. But I have watched the hawks around our house. If they are scared of something or someone, I wouldn’t know it. I can drive right by them on the tractor and they just sit, right there on the fence post, waiting. They wait for me to pass by, knowing I will scare a plump, yummy field rat or a tasty rabbit up as I mow. They sit and pay attention to what they are supposed to be paying attention to, which is necessary for their survival.
I have a vivid memory from about ten years ago. It was a windy day–a strong North wind in the Fall. I was in the office area of our home and something caught my eye. Out across the field, there was a hawk hovering low to the ground, maybe four or five feet from it…just riding the wind. He would flap his wings every so often to keep himself where he wanted to be, just hovering. He was facing the wind, he didn’t turn his back into it, letting the wind take him where it wanted him to go. No, he was facing the wind, taking advantage of the current to keep him where he wanted to be while he stayed focused on seeking his food.
Both the chickens and the hawks have to search out their food and both do it intentionally, daily. But the chickens allow themselves to get spooked–sometimes just because one of the other chickens thought they heard or saw something…that’s enough to send them all running. While the hawk keeps his focus. Interesting side note, Hawks are monogamous animals. I guess that could go along with keeping one’s focus too.
My point in all this inspiring Bible quotes, chickens and hawks talk? The hawks know when to sit still and when to fly. They know how to use what some other animals may consider bad wind conditions to their advantage, almost remaining at rest, or so it looks.
Do we know when to fly or when to sit still? At the first sign of some Chicken Little running by, do we follow? Or do we sit still, wait and assess the situation ourselves? Do we know that running away may decrease our chance for nourishment which will make us grow? And when we do have to take flight, is it in some warbled, crazy, half run–half fly kind of way, or we do look for the opportunity, the conditions, that will make us fly higher?
I’m going to put this in a concrete example, because that’s how I think. You know, or you will find out, I am an advocate of taking our thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ. Not just because the Bible tells me so, but because I’ve lived the life of one who just allowed whatever thought popped into my head, to hang out, get comfy and even invite the gang over for a fun game of “Let’s Torment Jenny.”
For the longest time I let those thoughts spook me, actually scare the you-know-what out of me. And sometimes, just the thought of a scary thought was enough to send me half running–half flying. As I started learning more of God’s Word I started being able to sit still and wait on God; not running from some scary thought. If the thought was the big, green, John Deere mower driving by, I paid just enough attention to it to know it was there, but I wouldn’t let it knock me off or scare me off the fence post. If I ran, I knew I could possibly be missing out on some type of nourishment: the love of my husband, the companionship of a good friend, or the peace that comes from resting in God.
Stay put…wait on God…He will renew your strength and if you do have to fly, don’t turn your back to the wind and let it carry you off like a scared chicken or a noisy Guinea Hen. Face into the wind to keep you steady, hovering above, still paying attention and looking for nourishment.
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