Summary: Do you want to scratch with the chickens or soar with the eagle - spiritually

Civic service NR 05-06-05

Soar with the eagle or scratch with the chickens

Story: When I was living in Switzerland about 15 years ago there was a wonderful bumper sticker (I don’t know if you had it over here) – usually on the back of a Porsche - which said;

“Do you want to soar with the eagles – or scratch with the chickens?”

As I had a mini at the time - I usually scratched with the chickens!

I would like to focus this morning on one verse from our Old Testament lesson:

Isaiah 40:31 which says

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings of eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Our OT reading this morning doesn’t tell us that God will take all our problems away – but it does tell us that he will give us the strength to come through the other side

One book I have been reading recently is John Ortberg’s “If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat”.

What a fascinating title for a book.

Ortberg quotes Scott Peck as saying this:

"It is in this whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has its meaning....

It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually...

It is for this reason that wise people learn not to dread but actually welcome the pain of problems”

Do we see our problems as problems or opportunities to grow?

Do we want to soar like the eagle or scratch with the chickens?

If we want to soar like the eagle, we will need to train. There are no shortcuts

Story: The eagle is an interesting bird.

It makes its nest from briars and thorns and then inlays the nest with animal skin, to stop the thorns and briars hurting the newly hatched eaglets.

For the eaglets, this is the life. Mum brings the food and the eaglets hangs around the nest getting fat. UNTIL one day, when Mum decides it is time to fly.

Naturally the eaglets are not keen to leave the

nest and so the mother eagle pulls away the animal skins. The prickles encourage the eaglet to leave

the nest.

So he clambers on his mother’s back and the mother flies high,

1000 ft,

2000 ft

till she reaches about 5000 ft over the ground.

If the little eaglet suffered from vertigo, he is in for a shock, because suddenly, the mother tips the eaglet off and it goes hurtling down.

The little eaglet flaps it wings but nothing seems to happen. And the earth looms up closer and closer.

Just as the eaglet is about to be splattered all over the ground, the mother eagle swoops down and catches the eaglet and the process is repeated

- until the eaglet can fly.

And so it is with us in the Christian life.

When we first become Christians we feel protected in God’s nest, but God soon takes us out of it, so that he can teach us to "soar on wings like eagles"

How can we fly like the eagle?. I can think of three areas

1. Firstly – if we want to soar like an eagle, then we need to learn to pray (Mark 1:29-39)

If we wish to follow the Master, we would do well to follow his example. We read in Mark 1: 35:

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."

Jesus prayed – because he believed it was important to spend time with his heavenly Father – and to hear what God was saying to him.

He recharged his batteries in prayer.

I came across this poem - given to me by a Roman Catholic friend of mine:

Time to pray

I got up early one morning

And rushed right into the day

I had so much to accomplish

That I didn’t have time to pray

Problems just tumbled about me

And heavier came each task

“Why doesn’t God help me” I wondered

He answered “You just didn’t ask”

I wanted to see joy and beauty

But the day toiled on, grey and bleak

I wondered why God didn’t show me

He said “You just didn’t seek”

I tried to come into God’s presence

I used all my keys at the lock

God gently and lovingly chided

“My child why didn’t you knock?”

I woke up early this morning

And paused before entering the day

I had much to accomplish

That I had to take time to pray

2. Secondly if we want to soar like an eagle, we need to learn to trust in God (Ps. 147)

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