Reflecting on Birds….

It’s a mild winter morning and spring will soon be here. Daffodils are blooming and birds are singing, ready for the earth to awaken with new growth. So I was drawn to this amazing photo by my friend Lynda. The muted colors of the sky are balanced by the dark branches, softening the scene and welcoming us in. I love how the bird is perched in the crook of the branch, ready to take flight. Since ancient times, birds have been considered a supernatural link between heaven and earth. These delicate but powerful creatures can defy gravity, soaring high above our heads. For centuries, man dreamed of flight, trying all sorts of contraptions to join the birds in the heavens. Perhaps what we seek is the bird’s eye view, the ability to take in the whole scene, to see it all at one time. We want to see through God’s eyes, to discern the hidden, rather than painstakingly piecing together the whole picture. It seems a heavy burden to place on a tiny bird. Yet the Celts considered the lowly wren the king of all birds, flying further than the majestic eagle in a race to the sun. Take time today to step back and consider the whole picture. Look at a difficult situation from all perspectives, not just your own. Seek to understand the motivation of others, refraining from judgment or snap decisions. And remember, when you grow weary, that even the lowly wren can win a race to the Son, one prayer at a time. Photo entitled ‘Bird’s Eye View’ by Lynda Jeffers ©2012, used with her permission, to see more of her photography, visit http://lynda-jeffers.artistwebsites.com/index.html

Reflecting on Flight….

It’s a cold, clear morning, with frost on the ground. The trees are bathed in soft sunlight, giving the whole scene a dreamlike appearance. So I was drawn to this amazing photo by my new friend Steve. I did not think a still photo was capable of capturing the intricate motion of flight. High speed video may reveal each specific movement, yet it cannot portray the fluid nature of seemingly effortless motion. Ii don’t know about you, but the notion of flight simply eludes me. As an engineer, I studied control theory extensively, taking many courses through the aerospace department. What I learned is how much we do not know or understand. Our universe is governed by two numbers we cannot fathom; even our most complex math is simply an approximation of reality. We must build complicated structures with even more complicated electronics to achieve what a bird accomplishes day in, day out. Our engineering triumph requires the same lens as this photo. We must step back, taking in the entire picture, accepting our perception is full of flaws and imperfections, always slightly out of focus. To succeed, we must remain mindful of our limited glimpse of reality, all the while resisting the temptation to be overly precise. Take time today to ponder the vastness and simplicity of God’s creation. Stop to soak in the graceful arch of a bird taking flight, or the limb of a tree stretching toward the sun. And remember, when words fail you, reciting the never ending digits of π may be the purest form of prayer. Photo entitled ‘Dreaming of Flight’ by Steve Ullenius

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