February 2021, Vol. 40, No. 2

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Check Your Flight Pattern

posted on February 1, 2021

[416 words]

Ornithologists (those who study birds) tell us that birds navigate in the air one of three ways:

1) By flapping. This is very labor intensive. It requires that the birds continuously beat their wings against the air so as to create lift. But if the bird stops flapping, then it will very quickly fall to the ground. Some examples of “flappers” would be sparrows and hummingbirds.

2) By gliding. Birds that do this will flap to a certain height and then spread their wings out and glide for great distances. This is very energy efficient, but without any additional effort, they too will eventually end up back on the earth. Some examples of “gliders” include albatrosses and gulls.

3) By soaring. These are birds that can flap to certain heights and then take advantage of the wind and updrafts, etc. to stay in the air. If the conditions are right, an experienced bird can soar for an indefinite period of time. This, of course, is the most efficient of all. Very few birds are designed to operate this way, but obvious examples are eagles and vultures.

So why the bird lesson in a church bulletin? It is because that I have noticed that Christians are like birds. Please don’t misunderstand me. I didn’t say that Christianity is “for the birds” or that some Christians are “bird brains!” But Christians are like various birds in flight. Notice, for example:

Some Christians are “flappers.” They flap and flap and flap, but never seem to get very far off the ground in their Christianity. They eventually stop flapping and end up back in the world and its worldly ways.

Some Christians are “gliders.” They flap and reach pretty good heights, but then start gliding and descending and never flap again to continue their separation from the world. They, too, end up back in the world.

Some Christians are “soarers.” They find the updrafts of God’s power through His Spirit, word, and will, and reach incredible spiritual heights. There, sustained by what God supplies, they remain far separated from the world and its corruption. There, upheld by God, the cares of the world cannot bring them down. And there, they are at peace, joyfully soaring and serving the Lord.

Christian, what is your flight pattern?

“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Edd Sterchi
Broadway church of Christ
Campbellsville, KY

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