Now that my kids are all off on their own grown-up adventures, there are not a lot of things that stir me to rush home after work (though my dog and cat would like to think they hold that status). However, at this time of the year, the lake behind our house becomes a playground for bald eagles. And I find myself rushing to get home so I can capture a glimpse of their beauty.
As soon as I turn the corner into our neighborhood, I can see them out on the edge of the ice that opens up to the parts of the lake that have melted. Sometimes there is one lone predator–watching the open water and patiently waiting until the perfect time to swoop in for a fresh sushi snack. Other times, there are groups of eagles–I’ve spotted up to 10 in one day–working together to hunt and prey. It’s amusing to watch them seriously hunt for a time, then take off for a little playful airtime flight and fight. For hours they perch, eat, and play. Then a bit of sadness sweeps over me as they take off and soar to another location, and I need to head indoors–back to reality.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve heard a lot of stories of stress. Work, school, relationships, and big life decisions. The “mom” in me wants to swoop in to save the day and make the struggle go away. But then I remember that these types of days are only a piece of the whole picture. If we can throw our doubt to the wind and trust in a bigger story than what we see in front of us, we will look back and see what the bigger plan was all along.
I think there are some important things we can learn from my eagle observations this week:
- Work With Purpose: The eagles on the lake are diligent and patient–they never give up when all seems at a loss. They do work–they wait–and when the time is right, they reap the reward of success and enjoy the fruits of their labor (fresh sushi). Like eagles, we need to be diligent and patient–we need to work with purpose, knowing that success will come if we persevere.
- Take Time to Play: When in a group, it doesn’t take long before the eagles pick at each other, wrestle around, and then do some pretty impressive acrobatics in the air. I know they may be doing a bit of fighting, but to the optimistic observer, it looks like they’re having a pretty good time playing with each other. In our busy, stress-filled lives, we can’t forget to have fun with the people we love. Taking time to play, laugh, and build relationships is just as important–sometimes more important–than the job at hand.
- Then Soar: It’s said that when a storm is coming, birds take shelter to get out of harm’s way. The eagle, however, flies above the clouds to avoid the storm. In life, it’s so easy to let the little things bring us down. We hide and wait for trouble to pass–hoping that we’ve avoided it all together. But I would rather be like the eagle–soaring high above the storms and rising above it, rather than letting it bring me down.
“But they that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”–Isaiah 40:31
Work hard, play hard, and soar–soar high. Oh yeah…and make sure you always have something in your life that always draws you back to home.–CK
Photo courtesy of my dear friend, Becky.
Check out her awesome photography at