I have been guilty of seeing vultures instead of eagles!
It's true. Because of the lakes and a nearby landfill, we see huge black birds flying overhead all the time - vultures. And I despise them! Of all the birds God created, I think vultures must top the list of "Despicable Creations". (Not sure if there really is such a list but there should be! Smile.)
Each time I would see them circling, glaring, foraging, fighting - doing what gross, horrid vultures do - I would cringe, make a face and loudly declare, "I hate vultures!"
Several weeks ago, I was working in the back yard when I spotted another of the nasty scavengers. I looked up and prepared to make my declaration to no one in particular when suddenly I took a closer look.
The bird slowly circling overhead was not a vulture - it was a bald eagle! My disgust immediately changed to delight over the sighting of such a rare and majestic creature soaring on the wind current directly over our home.
A few days later, Frank spotted another one and as we compared notes, we realized that there had to be nest nearby. We began searching the skies daily, hoping to spot one of the beautiful eagles.
We also began to glean information about the eagle population in this area. (I had no idea that the little community of "Eagle Lake" near us had been named such because of a large population nesting there years ago. Duh.)
It appears that there is actually a nest due east of us. Just after sunrise, you can often catch about three of the adults flying off to the southwest (to hunt, I suppose). And if we're home, we've been privileged to spot them returning just before sunset.
Frank has always had a love for eagles and all they represent. Some of his most prized possessions are figurines, pictures and books depicting these marvelous creatures. Knowing they are around us in such abundance right now has brought us both great joy!
Now, here's the kicker.
Eagle Lake is about five miles west of us; it's been there ever since we moved here. There is also a county landfill about five miles east of us. It's been there ever since we moved here.
Apparently, Eagle Lake has been drawing eagles to its shores for decades; the landfill has been drawing vultures for just about as long.
I didn't know about the eagles but I did know about the vultures. In my mind, spotting an eagle wasn't even a possibility. So every time I saw a large winged creature in the sky, I was immediately repulsed and compelled to launch into my declaration of disgust.
Now I know that very often I was actually seeing eagles; mis-identifying them; being disgusted; and completely missing out on a moment of joy God had intended for me.
(Do you see the sermon illustration here? Smile.)
Very often God has beauty circling all around us but because we don't think that kind of joy is possible for us, we completely miss it! What a waste!
Yes, I confess to you dear reader that I have been guilty of seeing only the "vultures" and missing the "eagles" both literally and figuratively. But now that I'm better informed, I can promise you - I'm determined to watch for eagles! Join me, won't you?!
P.S. Special thanks for all the words of love and encouragement on this day of remembering. Your kindness helps me keep looking up! Smile.