I had the itch—that feeling you get when you really want to do something or you just might lose it. I hadn’t been out taking pictures in a while and the day was perfect. We were coming back in from lunch after church one Sunday and it wasn’t looking like I was going to make it outside. Then it happened. This Red-tailed Hawk in the photo below came swooping over the house. Ashley rolled her eyes and said, “Go.” I ran inside and grabbed my camera. He gave me this awesome photo-op and I took it. It was majestic, seeing him float over my head like that, like it was nothing. No flapping, no struggling. He was made for this kind of activity.
Birds have light, hollow bones, making flight the thing they were built for. In order to soar and glide like this hawk, they have to catch thermals—pillars of warm air that rise upward in a spiraling motion. This is why you’ll see hawks and buzzards gliding high above in a circular pattern. The thermals cause their lift and they glide out of them, moving downward ever so slightly until they catch the next thermal, lifting them up again.
So what about us, what are we made for? People were made for worship. Our hearts are hard-wired for connection with God. St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless till they find rest in you.” And worship is our thermal. As we come before God, placing ourselves in positions of vulnerability and spreading our hearts out in abandon, the wind of his Spirit lifts us up, helping us move about within our lives without having to “flap our wings” as hard as before. It’s easier when we worship; easier to be a Christian—to pray, to sing, to listen, to be kind. Worship lifts us up and it helps us glide.
I hope that you will be in worship tomorrow morning or evening, somewhere, making it easier on yourself to “fly.”
Let it be so, O Lord.