I “stumbled randomly” (yeah right) across this article last night that is an easy read but really insightful. This piece on how eagles learn to fly pierced my heart and was worth highlighting:
“.In the word of YEHOVAH God we read: “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the LORD alone did lead him [Israel], and there was no strange god with him. He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields…” (Deut. 32:11-13).
When the time comes for the young eagles to begin to leave the nest, and learn to fly, they are at first very fearful. The nest is so comfortable, safe, and secure. Who would ever want to leave it? Mommy and Daddy provide food and protection. Why shouldn’t the little eaglets just stay there for the rest of their lives?
But no — they must fulfill their calling in life. They, too, must learn how to soar, and ride the winds, and mount the heavens!
To convince the little eagles that the time has come to leave the nest, the parent eagles “stir up the nest.” That is, they rough it up with their talons, and make it uncomfortable, so that sticks and sharp ends and pointy spurs stick out of the nest, so that it is no longer soft and secure, ruining their “comfort zone.” The nest is made very inhospitable, as the eagles tear up the “bedding,” and break up the twigs until jagged ends of wood stick out all over like a pin cushion. Life for the young eaglets becomes miserable and unhappy. Why would Mom and Pop do such a thing?
But to make matters worse, then the mother eagle begins to “flutter her wings” at the youngsters, beating on them, harassing them, and driving them to the edge of the nest. Cowing before such an attack, the little eagles climb up on the edge of the nest. At this point, the mother eagle “spreads her wings” and, to escape her winged fury, the little eagle climbs onto her back, and hangs on for dear life. As if that were not enough, then the mother eagle launches out into space, and begins to fly, carrying the eagle on her back. All seems safe and serene, the little eagle never expected such a thrilling ride — but that was nothing to what was to come shortly. For suddenly, without any warning, the mother eagle DIVES, plummeting downward, depriving the little eagle of its “seat,” and the next thing it knows, it is in free fall, falling, and tumbling down, down, down, in the air, its wings struggling to catch hold of the air currents, but flopping crazily due to its inexperience. For it must learn to flow, and there is nothing like “experience” to teach an eagle to fly! Instinct alone is not enough!
Just as it thinks all is hopeless and lost, however, the mother eagle swoops down below and catches it once again on its back, and soars back into the atmosphere. Much relieved, the young eagle hangs on for dear life. But just when he thinks everything is “OK” once again, the mother pulls another sneaky trick, and dumps him into the air, alone, again! Once again, the little eagle struggles, this time his wings begin to work a little better, and instead of tumbling like a rock pulled by gravity to certain destruction below, he manages to slow his descent, and is able to stay aloft a little longer, as his wings begin to strengthen. Again, if necessary, the mother eagle rescues him from death, and soars back into the heavens. But just as he thinks everything is finally “hunky dory,” she does it again! And down he goes! Finally, he learns how to catch the air currents and ride the winds, and begins to soar “like an eagle” — and now experiences the thrill of total “freedom” and “liberty”! Now he is no longer confined to the parameters of the nest. Now he is free to soar in the sky, and to be a true “eagle.”
Unfortunately, some little eagles never do learn to fly, however. They stubbornly refuse to use their wings, and fly on their own. Despite numerous attempts by the mother eagle to teach them to “fly,” they rebel. Flying is not for them! They will just stick to the nest, and depend on others to do their “flying” and “thinking” for them.
In sheer exasperation, the time finally comes when the mother realizes there is no lope for such a child. So she takes him one last time up on her back, and soars high into the air, and with a wild screech of disappointment and pain, she dives out from under him and flies away, leaving him to his fate — either fly — or die.
Fly — or die. That’s it. The little eagle either catches himself, and begins to fly on his own, or he is a “goner.” If he doesn’t fly this time, he will surely crash and smash upon the rocks below.”
Fly or Die. Oh Snap.