Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Eagles and Vultures

(An excerpt from Pace Yourself: 366 Devotions from the Daily Grind)



He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind” (Psalm 18:10).
When David penned these words, they were a song sung to the Lord. God Almighty was described as a great defender of the afflicted, figuratively swooping down from His throne to defeat the enemy. I envision a spirit lighting on the winged angel and taking flight together across the sky. Perhaps I’ve seen too many pictures of the mythological Apollo’s chariot. Nevertheless, the picture painted by the Psalmist is one of power and strength.

I was not far into my run today when, glancing to the left, a movement caught my eye. The pasture sloped downward toward a creek and a herd of cows grazed contentedly. The sky was a brilliant blue and the clouds, fluffy and white, floated effortlessly across the sky, a stout breeze coaxing them on their way. And then I saw it; a beautiful demonstration of soaring on the wings of the wind. 

A huge vulture, not generally regarded as handsome, spread his wings and took off. A flap or two made him rise to catch an invisible air current, launching him even higher into the sky. There he glided, adjusting the position of his wings ever so slightly to turn this way or that. He looked so free, so powerful. I wondered what it felt like to experience flight unencumbered by the trappings of an airplane. I was so intrigued by watching this giant bird I nearly ran off the road.

Regaining my bearings, I got to thinking about the inspirational “wings of eagles” verse found in Isaiah 40:31. It’s not hard to imagine a creature as majestic as an eagle soaring on the wind. Eagles are beautiful and commanding, swift and regal. Soaring is what they are supposed to do. But turkey vultures with their big ugly red heads and whose lives consist of eating rotting road kill…Well, it just doesn’t seem right that they could soar just as well as their cousins.

To me, the lesson became clear. Truth is, we may not be an “eagle.” We have imperfections and flaws that some might say disqualify us from flying with the beautiful crowd. And yet, we have been equally equipped to soar high and often.
           
“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

3 comments:

Rick Gray said...

Well, I have done it now. I have read what I was suppose to read on May 10th. We certainly do not think of a turkey vulture as being as pretty or graceful as an eagle, but if it is that turkey vulture who is swooping down to protect us from evil, then the vulture is also beautiful. Our faith protects us from evil.

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

Sorry to ruin May 10 for you. :)

snorkelinglover said...

I understand that Is. 40:31 the word "vulture" should be reinserted for the word "eagle." Instead of "they will soar on wings like eagles," it should read "they will soar on wings like vultures."