Monday, March 3, 2014
Flying Harder Getting Stronger
I heard a great story the other day and it helped me better understand some of the darkness and difficulties that we face in Cancer Land. For a long time I falsely assumed that struggles or emotional challenges were signs that my spiritual life was not good enough. I believed all those platitudes like, “Fear and faith can’t exist at the same time.” Now I know that is just silly. Of course they can.
But here is the story that is changing my thinking:
Every year the birds of Capistrano fly north. They leave the island and fly across wide swaths of ocean to make their long journey. What ornithologists who studied them noticed was that the swallows would pick up a twig and carry it with them. They carried the twigs in their mouths for hours as they flew over the ocean.
It seemed crazy. And really hard.
But what the bird watchers learned was that the birds would fly long distances over the ocean and when they got tired they would drop their twig and rest on it. The twig floated so they could take a break and then pick up the twig again and keep flying.
The very thing that seemed to make the journey difficult turned out to be the very thing that made the journey possible.
So too with challenges in our spiritual lives. Cancer Land can be very hard, and facing our feelings head on seems to make it harder. But we are strengthened. Just when we want comfort and to fly lighter we are carrying a dam twig.
The root of he word comfort comes from the Latin, confrontare—to strengthen—and we are being strengthened.