Soar Like a Pelican

nature, birds, lessons
photo credit: Caroline McFarland, Unsplash

Pelicans are not birds I expected to appear graceful. To me, these seabirds seemed ungainly.

My opinion changed as I watched several soaring over-head. With large wings outstretched, they caught an air current and let it carry them. Far above the water, they circled, dipped slightly and rose high again. All of this was done without much need to flap their wings. They understood the advantage of going with the flow – airflow in this case.

A flock of small white birds flew much lower and their wings worked hard to keep them aloft. They were using their own strength and not riding the current of air. They landed and took off again frequently.

More times than I care to admit, I am like the small birds. In order to stay aloft, I flap harder to keep going. My own strength is never enough for what I want to accomplish and the effort exhausts me.

As I watched, a brown pelican did its spectacular plunge-dive. These birds can be flying as high as ten meters (33 feet) and when they spot their prey, fold back their large wings and plunge to the sea to catch it. The speed with which they do this is amazing.

I can’t help but think this speed is possible because energy has been conserved when flying. They make efficient use of the resources available to them.

I want to be like the pelican and allow the wind beneath my wings to help me soar. When I rely on Jesus, he enables me to reach heights I would never achieve on my own. His strength sustains and guides me.

The choice is mine. Will I flap hard and stay close to the ground or soar like a pelican?

Lazy River

Jesus, rest, inspirationWe had done a lot of walking on our vacation but still felt we needed more exercise. One morning we got up a little earlier and headed out to walk in the lazy river. Our plan was to walk against the current. When we arrived, we found that, during this time set aside for exercise, everyone was going with the flow.

The water was four feet deep and the current was strong. This made it difficult, but not impossible, to go against it. We did two laps against the current, then two laps with the current and repeated this several times. This resulted in a good workout for us. I saw a younger couple observing us before deciding to try this, too. Surprised by the difficulty, they quickly changed their minds and went back to the easier route.

So it is with life. I have often been faced with the option of going with the flow, taking the easier, more popular route. Many times I have taken this route as I wanted to be part of the crowd and not the one going the other way. Unfortunately I have done this when I knew that the more difficult route was the one more beneficial.

What I have learned is that when I let Jesus guide me, he chooses my route. Though it may look like the current is too strong for me, I must remember that I am not navigating this on my own. There is nothing I will face that Jesus can’t get me through. Later, I’m sure he will grant me times of rest and refreshment when I can coast down the lazy river of life for a time.

But he told me: “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So I will brag even more about my weaknesses in order that Christ’s power will live in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 GWT

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