Dear CCOV Family,
Last night I flipped through some photos of an Alaskan trip that Clint and I had taken a few years ago. One photo evoked my favorite memory, that of a bald eagle nest on a small islet in the Clover Passage near Ketchikan. We were riding on a Zodiac raft to Betton Island for a naturalist-led hike through an Alaskan rainforest. The guide brought the raft to a standstill in the water so that we could see the large nest. He pointed out the mother eagle next to her aerie; she was perched on a large branch. On a nearby branch one of her eaglets flapped its wings, seemingly unwilling to risk flight—just yet, anyway. Our guide said that he and the other Zodiac raft captains were anxiously awaiting the moment that the eaglet would take its first flight—either of its own accord or through its parents’ little push. He expected that this could happen that very day. Unfortunately, the eaglet remained on the branch flapping its wings (probably still building up necessary flying muscles). Our guide hoped that when we returned from our hike on Betton Island, the eaglet would have taken the leap. But even four hours later, it was still on the branch just flapping its wings.
I think there are occasional seasons of life when we feel like all we do is remain in one place and “flap our wings.” Looking back, I remember times of indecision in particular when I “flapped.” All of us surely have had times when we we’ve waited for discernment, direction, inspiration, and even courage to move on to the next big challenge. For example, maybe you “flapped your wings” for a while when deciding to down-size and transition to a smaller home, or maybe you flapped when trying to decide whether or not to take a new job. I remember “flapping my wings” for a time when I first moved to Prescott, not sure of how to begin a new ministry. One thing I know: there is almost always some suffering in decision-making, especially for those of us with low risk tolerance. But it is often in the risk-taking that there is the biggest pay off. What risks do you need to take as an individual? What risks do we need to take as a church? In what new directions can we head? We resume the season of regular worship at 10 AM, Sunday, September 16. Let us also begin a new dialog, make some decisions, and bravely face some risk as we chart the future of CCOV together.
Scripture often uses eagle imagery to give us courage and inspiration. One of my favorites is Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Waiting on the Lord, for me, means actively serving—not just flapping. Meditating on that thought just might help all of us soar. See you soon!