Which bird are you?

avian-1280582_1280The other day, walking around the lake, I sat down to rest and watch. I was there early, and this morning, there must have been eighty graceful, delicate swallows swooping over the water. They zigged and zagged, climbed, then swooped down to touch the water for a drink. Leaving behind a ripple, they darted away and looped around again. It was hypnotizing to watch.

I picked out a single bird to study its pattern and see if I could predict when it would take its next drink. I could not. Sometimes, they would dive four or five times, only to suddenly veer away from the water before coming again to refresh themselves.

In the midst of this jumble of helter-skelter avionics, I noticed two large, graceful swans gliding slowly through the water. They looked regal and peaceful as they seemed to move effortlessly on top of the water.

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The scene reminded me of Christians in their daily lives. Like the swallows, so many dart around in their busyness, stopping only for a brief moment to refresh themselves in the Holy Spirit. A few others appear majestic and calm like the swans. They seem to be more in touch with the Holy Spirit. And I thought how we should be more like Swans than Swallows.

But then, I saw the bird I want to imitate. An awkward looking bird, it rode very low in the water. Only a bit of its back was showing with a dark, gangly neck and a small head pushing through the surface. It seemed to be moving purposefully, but then disappeared totally under the water. I was surprised when it reappeared, a full thirty seconds later, and quite a great distance away! This bird had totally submersed itself in the water and traveled through it to reach a destination!

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This is how I want to be in Christ! – Not dipping in here and there for a sip; not floating on top with my feet dangling; but totally and completely submerged for long periods of time which accomplish much. And in between submersion excursions, so covered by the Holy Spirit that I am more water than bird, more Spirit than self.

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