Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Eagle

Isaiah says, "They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.  They shall mount up with wings as eagles.  They shall run and not get tired, they shall walk and not become weary.(Is. 40:31)

There is a story about the eagle that you may have heard:  The story says that when an eagle reaches about age 30 his beak and talons begin to weaken.  It is at that point that he can give up and die.  But she can also decide to do what ever it takes to get rid of the old beak and talons.  Over a period of a few months the old eagle will become very weak but not give up.  He will eat only what other eagles bring him.  but he will begin to grow a new beak and new claws.  If she survives that time of change, she can live another 30 years.

I have tried to check on the truth of this story.   Some say it is true but most say it is only an urban legend and not true.  .But to me it doesn't matter.  I will not claim something to be true just to make a point but a great point is made even if this can serve only as a parable.   Jesus gave is plenty of truth in the fictional stories He told!

There comes a point in our lives where we begin to wear out.  We are tempted to just give up--live out our days doing nothing to contribute to the world and wait to die.   Or we can take up a cross and follow Jesus.  We can get rid of all the old stuff in our lives and allow the life of God to grow in us.   When that happens we may not live any longer but we will live better.    Don't ever think you are too old to count for God.  you are never too old! 

1 comment:

  1. Though very very often, this urban legend is mistakenly associated with the passage on Eagle in Isaiah 40, the legend has no scriptural basis. The urban legend's intent is to motivate people going through mid-life crisis, to tell them that they can extend their useful professional or social life by making some hard decisions or by re-skilling, etc., However Isa 40:31 talks about a daily waiting on the Lord and not any one-time exercise, and hence has a different context.

    What our 'daily waiting on the Lord' maps to in the Eagle's experience is what is called as 'Molting'. I talk about it in my blog post at

    Different kinds of eagles have varied life-spans (from 30 to 50 years) and it is fascinating to learn how the Eagle grows in strength with passing years. Every year between April and July (which may sometime extend all the way from March to October) it loses a third of its feathers through a process known as molting, when it slows down and waits to get new ones and fly again with renewed strength. In successive years, it loses a different set of feathers such that it has new feathers all over, every 3 to 5 years.

    Isaiah refers to this metaphorically to say how we too can grow in strength like an eagle, if only we will wait on the Lord each morning. If we can wait for God in solitude and in silence, we can hear God whispering in our hearts. Jesus had this experience of rising up in the silence of the wee hours of the morning, and going out in solitude to pray and to be in His father’s company. We find in Mark 1:35, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” While starting a new day, following a very busy day, he knew that this was the way to restore him. He knew the promise in Isa 40:31, “but those who 'hope in' (or 'wait on') the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”