Tuesday, June 9, 2009

FLEDGING - June 2 2009

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles…
Isaiah 40:31 NIV

There’s a nice young couple who have taken up residence in our home—on a support beam situated on the underneath side of our second story deck. It ‘s a safe place to lay a few eggs, sit a spell, and then hatch some young’uns. From nest construction to empty nest, I’ve enjoyed peeking in on my houseguests.

Ladies (and gents), have you ever noticed how fast another mother’s pregnancy proceeds? My pregnancies dragged on at a tortoise pace while everyone else’s pregnancies fly by like the hare in Aesop’s fable. An avian gestation goes by in a flash—for a bird the size of my housemate, approximately 11-14 days. Once hatched, baby birds grow at the speed of light, so you need to be alert and observant if you want to catch the action.

When Mama bird’s behavior changed from incubating her eggs to making umpteen trips to the grocery store, I began making bed checks on the nest several times a day to see how the babies were growing. I was elated when I first caught sight of little pin-feathered heads and beaks popping up. Then one day a baby bird was pushed out on the edge of the nest, due to cramped conditions, and I knew that, of necessity, the babes would take flight soon.

Later that same day I heard a commotion in the direction of the nest and looked over in time to see one fledgling flutter like a befuddled butterfly, fighting to gain altitude. Its wings were flapping wildly and he was darting this way and that, like a kite being played by a fickle wind. But soon he was able to control his wings and negotiated a less than perfect landing on a tree branch.

I walked over to the nest to inspect it to see if anyone else had fledged. As I tilted my head to look up at the nest, the three remaining babies fled the scene and immediately flew to nearby branches. I sat in wonder as I watched the fledglings flying back and forth. It was like watching my child taking off on her maiden bike-flight. I felt the same pride and elation that I have every time one of my kids masters a new challenge. “Whoo hoo!”

In a week’s time, “my” baby birds (I tend to quickly develop attachments to animals) were transformed from pathetic, helpless, naked newborns into teenagers, eager to earn their flying licenses and receive their flight wings. What an amazing miracle!

Do you ever feel like a baby bird being forced out of your security nest, fearful that you won’t be able to wing it? Over and over in life we find ourselves in new and challenging positions, pushed out of our comfort zone. Put your hope in your heavenly Flight Instructor and let God carry you—and “soar on wings like eagles.”