1 Mar 2013
I told a friend recently about my mom being sick and that she is still in the hospital. I told her how I felt. I feel really sad for my mom going through this hardship. And, I am feeling really down at this time in my life.
My friend shared with me about her experience in the past few years and she tried to help me by suggesting that I read about the molting process of eagles. In the month of March, as we approach springtime, a time of new beginnings and renewal, I wanted to share with you what I have learned.
In the CornellLab of Ornithology website (ref. www.birds.cornell.edu/allaboutbirds/studying/feathers/molting/document_view): A feather is a 'dead' structure, somewhat analogous to hair or nails in humans. The hardness of a feather is caused by the formation of the protein keratin. Since feathers cannot heal themselves when damaged, they have to be completely replaced. The replacement of all or part of the feathers is called a molt. Molts produce feathers that match the age and sex of the bird, and sometimes the season.
Some species of birds acquire their adult plumage once a year. Other species (i.e. eagles) require up to five years to acquire their adult plumage. All feathers are not lost all at once during the molt.
A Christian perspective, describing the eagles' molting process, can seem very dramatic. Molting is not simply acquiring the adult plumage, it is a journey that brings eagles through great depression and wilderness. Eagles will lose their feathers and their beaks and claws will also change. Eagles will walk like a turkeys, as they lose their strength to fly. They will lose their vision. As calcium builds up on their beaks, eagles cannot hold its head up to fly. They lose their desire to eat and lose their strength to hunt. When they reach that last stage, they may peck on each other, occasionally pecking another molting eagle to death. At this time, molting eagles will find a place on the mountains and bathe in the sun. When other eagles see the molting eagles, they will drop food for them. The older eagles who have survived the experience will know what the molting eagles are going through. If they do not renew, they will die. [Ref. http://eaglez4worth.tripod.com/id89.html]
The Christian perspective described above is comparable to the Christian life. We may go through valleys and wilderness of life. We may lose our desire to eat - to feed on the Word of God. The pains in life and people can hurt us which can effect our vision in God. If we look up towards the Lord, our lives can be renewed. Those who have gone through the same valleys we're going through can provide us with inspiration and words of encouragement and hope. Without hope, we may perish.
Isaiah 40:31 is one of my favourite verses in the Bible. It has become so much more meaningful when I was going through the valleys and desert times in life. I have only seen an eagle once in flight. It was unforgettable. My friends and I were climbing up the escarpment. I could not believe it when I saw a bird which looked like an eagle. As I watched its huge wing span, soaring through the skies, I thought this bird was like the king of the skies. If we could fly like eagles, we are free! We are free to defeat every obstacle which comes across our paths. We are free from anyone who may try to bring us down. We are free from things which may obstruct our dreams. We are free to fly closer to God and literally, the sky's the limit!
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.
I admit, I feel like I am going through a molting process. Ironically, it seems like once in every 5 years, I undergo some changes. I learn new things, I re-learn things which I may have forgotten along the way, but, each time, I am grateful to have other "eagle friends" who help me soar again. I hope that I can also help other "molting eagles".
I wish every one of you eagles all the best in the month of March, as you renew your spirits, renew your strength, renew your minds, renew your goals, and renew your relationships which may have been strained. Winter is coming to an end soon and I hope we can all enjoy a lot more SUN!!!
Thanks for joining me for another episode of KaTsZoNe! Will check back in April!
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