Did you miss the eagle, too?
This Summer I was jogging alongside the Snake River in Wyoming. I passed an aging cowboy, his worn boots propped up on a split log, a smoking pipe dangling from his chin, and a steaming cup of joe by his side. I thought I heard him mumble something under his breath. But continued on my way. Returning home, the octogenarian was in a hot and bothered rant. I stopped in my tracks. The curmudgeon stammered, “Do you have any idea what you just missed, not once, but twice?”
A bald eagle.
I looked up high into a trinity of Aspens and there she was, like a sign from the heavens.
This was no ordinary aviator. No offense to my starlings and bluejays. A bald eagle is in a league all of her own. She is our national bird for goodness sakes! Measuring three feet tall, a bald eagle is the exact height of my three year old daughter. But most impressive is her wingspan of 7 feet. That is almost the length of my suburban!
How did I miss it?
Sadly, I wasn’t looking for it. A tragic flaw!
How many times do we miss the miracle perched right there on the path in front of us? These little ebenezers, divine signs, epiphanies, twinkling constellations in the night sky, some almost insignificant, and then others so gargantuan, leaving no doubt that the Spirit has broken through.
Are we so earthbound that we are blind to the mystery?
I believe God is still at work in the world. Actually, that God is at work in each of our lives. Most of the time we are too stubborn to see the signs.
Paying attention is sacramental!
We get so caught up in our lives, running here and there, accomplishing, fretting, enduring, that we miss the eagle—-A glimmer of beauty in the ugly, clarity in the chaos, a new path at a dead end, a creative spark on an empty page, a flicker of light under the dark shroud, and a voice of hope in the despairing wilderness.
Never doubt the mysterious undercurrent humming, the luminous thread weaving, the divine pulse beating beneath the surface of life. The Spirit is at work. The hypothesis proven: We are part of a much larger plan, of divine proportions.
For the next three days, I ran the same route, determined to see the eagle again. No luck.
That’s life. And yet, if we keep our eyes pealed, the definition of faith, we are promised that God will show up in a trinity of Aspens.
For those who are suffering in the trenches of Life, keep looking up. The eagle will make her way in your direction, that is the promise!
Live in Hope,
P.S. A big thank you to the spiritual cowboys in our lives who are not afraid to remind us to look up!
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