Driving in outback Australia, you’re bound to find some road-kill festering in the middle of a highway. As my family were driving down the Stuart Highway, making our way from Darwin to Alice Springs, we saw much of it; though it wasn’t the road-kill that caught our attention.
Looking into the distance, you would occasionally see a large eagle, spreading its wings and with determination, making its way towards some of the dead kangaroo meat cooking in the heat of the sun. These eagles were visually impressive and incredibly courageous as they swooped down to grab their meal.
You know, when you consider it though, the eagle wasn’t always brave and courageous.
Every eagle started its journey as an eaglet: A young bird, in a nest; fragile, and dependent upon the mother eagle to provide comfort and food.
We might be fragile…
As this eaglet grows and matures, there comes a point, when the mother eagle determines, it’s time for the young eaglet, to become an eagle! It’s time to soar! It’s time to get out of the nest!
I can’t help think about how often we want to get out of the metaphorical nest; to soar over our problems and fly into the sunset.
We love to soar
We love to soar. Even as children we love to pretend we are Superman flying through the midnight air towards our destination. We imagine we are all-powerful and we can soar above the mountaintops and sing that the hills are alive.
Then life hits us.
Emails tell us that we have not finished the paperwork correctly. People, who we thought were mates, tell us how pathetic we are. Someone tells us to not give up our day job. Others criticise us for not making the right choice. Even some family members want nothing to do with us.
We forget how to soar. We go back into the nest and hide away from a brutal world, that has caused us too much pain.
The picture of us flying in the sunset, without a care in the world, becomes a distant memory. The desires to rise above the circumstances that drag us down are a losing battle.
What happens next is we live life with a mediocre attitude. We give up trying to do better, because it is too hard. Day by day we lose the capacity or willingness to dream what could be, because we are stuck in what is. We simply plant our feet on the ground and we stop soaring.
How many times have you heard of people with that kind of mindset?
“I’ve given up trying to change the culture of my workplace, because it’s just a waste of time!”
“I’m just going to stick it out for six months and see what happens.”
“She’s not talking to me; I’m not going to even bother.”
The Bible says that those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength and that they will soar on wings like eagles. This picture encapsulates a vision far richer than the pessimistic, mediocre mindset that so easily entangles Australian culture.
We are called to soar.
So next time you’re driving down the sun-scorched highways of the Australian outback, find those eagles. And remember, every eagle, at some point in their bird life, made a choice to get out of the nest and fly.
If you want to soar like an eagle, you have to get out of the nest!
Pete Brookshaw is the Senior Minister of The Salvation Army Craigieburn. He has a Bachelor of both Business and Theology and is passionate about the church being dynamic and effective in the world and creating communities of faith that are outward-focused, innovative, passionate about the lost and committed to societal change. He has been blogging since 2006 at http://www.petebrookshaw.com about leadership and faith and you can find him on:
Peter Brookshaw’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/peter-brookshaw.html