“Look at the birds of the air,” Jesus said. (Mt. 6:26). Okay, a warm July afternoon, my attention is drawn heavenward to a white-winged gull climbing a thermal staircase in space.
His wings spread wide, tethered to a sunbeam, my feathered friend experiences an effortless, ascending glide. There are some lessons there for me.
The snow-white flight aloft does not seem born of hunger, fear or pain. The seagull is not hunting for insects or fleeing some air-borne predator. If birds can experience joie de vivre, certainly that is his present state. He is not rushing to a meeting, racing to bear some deadline or trying to edge out the competition. He is enjoying the moment. Surely the Divine Presence expects no less of me.
I note as well that the gull simply makes use of what he is equipped to do. He soars because he has wings. I cannot discern the workings of his walnut-sized brain, but I note that he makes good use of that with which he was born. He does not feel because he cannot break the sound barrier or journey to Saturn. I have certain talents too. I must use them and not grumble about those which I do not have.
I know nothing about the eyes of a gull, but I am sure that from the perch above his warm air shaft, he has a totally new perspective. That is my need as well. Rather that the hum-drum routine dictated by my electronic calendar, I need to climb to a loftier site and gain the outlook of the bigger picture. My vision needs correcting. I need to see God’s farther horizons.
“Look at the birds of the air,” Jesus said. Yes. They have some lessons to teach.