This is the continuation of “The Encounter I” as Dan begins writing his children’s book for Adults. Paul said he could not speak to them as adults but still had to speak as unto children. I think we can all still enjoy a good children’s story in our old age, and “The Little Bird that Couldn’t” packs a strong message.
“The Little Bird that Couldn’t” > Chapter One
He couldn’t remember why or how.
All he knew was that he couldn’t… he could not flap his wings.
Yes, he had wings, but they would not flap! Yes, he could stretch them out, but they would not flap. This is the story of the little bird that couldn’t. Such a sad story in the beginning, but what a happy ending!
“What good are wings that will not flap?” asked the wise old owl who sought to help him.
“I do not know, sir,” he answered in despair. “I was hoping you could tell me.”
“Hmmm,” the owl considered, as he tried to find an answer full of wisdom, because that was the job of owls in the bird kingdom, to have wise answers. But alas, he could think of nothing.
So the little bird continued on, walking wherever he went. It was not the way of birds to walk, but it had been his way for as long as he could remember, and not even the wise owl could give him any hope, as he continued walking.
He did not know this land he was in, for he had walked many weeks now. He missed home even though it had been a cruel place where the other birds laughed at him. But he just wanted to fit in, have friends, and a place to belong.
They called him, Flapless. “Here comes ‘Flapless’!” they would yell.
“Hey Flapless! We’ve decided to hunt for worms in the far meadow over there! See ya when you get there, if we’re not too old! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!” they would laugh as they flew away. Finally, he just kept on walking one day, and thus his quest began. Surely someone could help him find an answer, or at least a place he would be accepted and make it his home, but for weeks now it had been one dreary mile after another, and nothing but disappointments, like the not-so-wise old owl.
As darkness settled in for another night, he found a spot at the base of a large tree to snuggle into and take his rest. Sometimes, as he slept, he actually dreamed about flying! It was a wondrous thing! Every night as he closed his eyes he said a little prayer that he might fly. But it was only a dream; and even those were far and few between. He was a sad little bird. His heart broke more every day as he longed for something that should rightly be his, but for some unknown reason, was not.
When morning came he ruffled his feathers, shook himself, and came out. Then he stretched his wings a far as he could and tried to flap! Still nothing. “Oh well, at least my legs still work, I guess.” Then he pecked the ground and swallowed a large worm before pressing on with the quest.
It had been three days since his encounter with the owl, three long and silent days. He was tired of only hearing his own voice, and thinking his own thoughts. “I wish I had someone traveling with me,” he said out loud, but again, no one was there to answer back.
Now the land before him was changing and he had a choice to make. Ahead was a fork in the road with a big tree standing tall. He stopped at the tree and looked to his right. To the right he saw nothing but very tall mountains, and who knew what dangers might lurk there, because he had never been in mountains before, and so they were strange to him.
Now to the left the road continued with lovely rolling hills, green grass, butterflies, and pleasant travel, but to the right it looked rocky, dangerous, lonely, and perhaps even cold. The answer seemed obvious as he started veering down the left path.
“Are you sure you want to go that way?” a voice asked.
“What? Who said that?” the little bird asked while looking every way about, but seeing no one!
“I did,” the voice came again, and it seemed to come from the tree!
“Trees don’t talk,” he reminded himself. “Am I going crazy?” But he could not help himself from having a closer look. So he cautiously walked over to the big tree, stared up into its leaves, and feeling rather silly asked, “Pardon me, Mr. Tree, but did you say something?”
“No.” came the reply.
Now the little bird was very confused and startled! For obviously the tree had spoke to him but said, No! So if the tree did not speak to him then he was not going crazy because trees do not speak and “no” was the right answer, but how could the tree not be speaking if he heard it say, No? So he was crazy either way!
“What am I going to do, what am I going to do?” the little bird fretted. “My journey has driven me crazy!” Then he hyperventilated and passed out.
End of story.
Oh, you do not want the story to end here? Do you know how much work it is to keep on writing? To keep on creating? To keep on giving this bird life? To give it a story to tell?
And how about all the work it is for you to read these words? The more words I write the more work it is for you to read? Right?
Okay, if you insist. But just for you.
The next morning, as the little bird began to regain his senses, he was surprised to find he had lay there all night! And now the sun was rising and it was the next day! Was he still hearing voices? If he spoke to the tree would it answer him again? Was he still crazy?
Picking himself up from the ground he shook the lingering dew from his feathers. “Guess no harm done,” he said to himself, I’m just a little damp around the edges.”
“So you are, my fine feathered friend,” the voice came again.
Immediately, the little bird’s heart started racing again, and his feet wanted to run away! But he did not look up into the big tree yet, as he focused on calming his heart, for there must be a great mystery here, and the answer he wanted to know.
Slowly, very slowly he raised his head and dared to look back into the tree. He still had questions. “Okay, Mr. Tree, if you are not the one speaking to me, then who is?”
“It is I, the Wind,” came the answer. “You hear my words as I move through the leaves of this tree, but I assure you, as everyone knows, trees do not talk. How silly that would be, right?”
The little bird took a big swallow as he gulped and said, “Ha! Yes! Of course! How silly that would be! Everyone knows that trees do not talk! But the wind does?” came his nervous half frightened question.
“Of course, silly, but only to those who hear me.”
“Of course,” the little bird weakly agreed. “And I am one of those, I guess, right?”
“You are now,” the Wind replied. “But it has taken several weeks for you to be so. Most people are too busy ‘inside’ to hear my voice. Your many weeks of walking has quieted your soul, opened your ears, and now you hear.”
“I see,” the little bird answered. “Of course, it all makes sense now. I should have known. Right?”
“Exactly!” the Wind answered. “For has it not been foretold by all the great prophets?”
“Yes, I think I remember reading that somewhere? I’m sure I did.” The little bird paused for a moment, before asking, “So if I move from this tree, will I still be able to hear you?” “No. You’re not that good yet. Don’t flatter yourself. You really have a lot to learn.”
“Yes, you do,” the Wind confirmed. “Tell me, what is your name, little bird? For I have been watching you for weeks, but have not heard your name.”
The little bird hesitated. Whatever his real name had been, it had gotten lost in all the name-calling. Even his own brothers and sisters had called him various names once it was discovered he could not flap, but eventually one name seemed to stick, and everyone began to say it, “My name is, Flapless,” he said, with his head turned down.
“Flapless?” the Wind seemed to pause. “Ahh, you have been given a great gift. That explains a lot.”
“It does?” Flapless questioned.
“It does,” the Wind confirmed. “It explains why you hear my voice, and why you have been walking alone for so long that your soul became very quiet, so that you could hear me. Most people are so busy ‘flapping’ that they never really hear me. Sometimes they pause for a moment thinking they heard something, but then they rush back to their flapping and never give it a further thought. But you, my little bird, cannot flap! And now you are beginning to hear.”
“Wow,” Flapless thought, “a great gift. But what does it mean? What can I do with this gift? I still wish I could fly. But he was afraid to speak any of these thoughts out loud.
“So, do you trust me, Flapless?” the Wind asked.
“Trust you? I hardly know you,” he answered.
“That is right, you hardly do, but you need to.”
“Why do I need to?” Flapless asked.
“Because I am ‘All-Knowing’,” the Wind answered.
Only silence followed the Wind’s final statement, for everything it had asked, it asked for the benefit of the bird, for it knew all things, and had no need to hear the answers, only Flapless did.
“End Chapter One”
The next day a box turtle was passing the tall tree just as Flapless was waking from his sleep. He had hardly slept all night thinking about the last thing the voice, the wind, had said. He did not want to leave this place until he heard more, but what did this great mystery mean? The wind is All-Knowing? What if the wind were All-Knowing? What would that mean?
So as Mr. Turtle was slowly making his way past the tree, Flapless could not help but want to talk to someone. An hour had slowly passed and the turtle was still close by, as turtles move very slow, and this one was old and very very slow. As a matter of fact, he was very very very very slow, because not only was he old, he only had three legs! He felt sorry for the turtle, but decided not to mention the missing leg. Some tragic thing had happened, but Mr. Turtle had survived and was living his life, just like he had been forced to live with wings that did not flap.
“Hey, Mr. Turtle,” Flapless began, “what if I told you the wind spoke to me here at this spot, just yesterday?”
Mr. Turtle stopped in his voyage and blinked one time… twice… then three times before asking, “Did the tree talk to you, too?”
“Of course not,” Flapless answered. “Everyone knows that trees do not talk.”
“Good!” Mr. Turtle answered, “For a moment I thought you might be crazy.”
“Nope, I’m as sane as anybody who hears voices in the wind.”
So Mr. Turtle paused for a moment thinking and blinking, before he finally asked, “Well what did the wind say to you?”
“He said I should get to know him, for he is All-Knowing. What do you think of that?”
“What do I think of which?” the turtle asked, “That you should get to know him? Or that the wind is All-Knowing?”
“Well, both, I guess.”
“Hmmm,” Mr. Turtle said.
“I’ve heard that before,” Flapless thought.
“Well…if the wind is truly ‘All-Knowing’, I think I would want to get to know someone like that.”
“Thank you, Mr. Turtle. That is what I think, too. So I am going to sit right here until I hear him again, so I can get to know him. Have a good day, Mr. Turtle!”
“So long, young fellow, and good luck!” the turtle answered as he began to move again.
Two hours go by before Flapless hears the voice in the leaves again. “Hey, Mr. Turtle! Did you hear that?”
“No, I don’t believe I did. What did you hear?” the turtle asked, for he was still close by and wanted to know.
“I heard the wind say, good morning!” Now Flapless was all excited and jumping around. “Good morning, wind! I have waited for you! I want to know you more and hear what you have to say. I have thought all night, and were you telling me to take the road to the right? The one leading into those big mountains?”
“That depends,” the Wind said. “Are you willing to trust me completely?”
“I think I would like to do that,” Flapless answered. “What have I to lose? I am a bird that is grounded. I cannot fly. And if you are All-Knowing, like you say, do you think you can help me?”
Mr. Turtle could only hear one side of the conversation, but he had paused again so he would not miss a thing. He was afraid he would get too far away and not be able to hear, especially if the conversation went on for a day or two.
“I know I can help you,” the Wind answered.
“Hey Mr. Turtle! Did you hear that?” Flapless shouted.
“No, I did not. What did the wind say?”
“He said he can help me! I have been on a great journey, looking for answers, and he says he can help me if I trust him! But he wants me to take the path to the right, going up into those high mountains. It looks hard there. I’m not sure I’m brave enough. What would you do?”
“Hmmm,” came the thoughtful answer again, as Flapless continued waiting.
“The mountains can be a lonely place,” Mr. Turtle began, “but a life of unfulfillment is not worth living, and a fulfilling life is worth every risk. You are a bird that cannot fly. So sad. If your answers lie in the mountains, then I would go there. And I could probably reach the top in just a year or two, because I would be so anxious, I would put a rush on it. I mean; I would really put the pedal to the metal! If you know what I mean.”
“Then that is my answer!” Flapless shouted. “I will take the path to the right and head towards the mountains! But how will I hear you when I leave this tree, Mr. Wind?”
“While you are here in the low-lands, it will be difficult. Not every tree will be able to carry my voice for you, but as you climb higher into the mountains, your ears will become sharper, and my voice clearer. You shall see. But you must trust me completely, and do as I say. You must remember, and be faithful to whatever the last thing is you hear me say. Silence does not mean I have changed my mind.”
“Got it!” Flapless shouted, and then repeated. “Silence does not mean the wind has changed his mind! Thank you, wind! I will be faithful! You’ll see! I’m on my way now! Bye!”
So Flapless took a few steps passing the turtle on his way. He did say bye, and thanked him for his advice.
Mr. Turtle sighed as he watched the little bird disappearing down the road, and said, “Boy, he is really flying! He’ll be there in less than a week at that pace!” And then he turned left to continue on his way. There were only several hours of daylight left, so he planned on camping for the night at a rock he could see just up ahead.
End Chapter Two
That night Flapless snuggled up in a pile of leaves that were trapped against a fallen tree. As he stared up into the starry sky he began to question the events of his day. “Did I really hear the wind talking to me? I passed several trees today and never heard the voice even once, not even a peep! What if I’m wrong? Will I find food up in the mountains? Do worms live there? Is the ground too hard and cold?” his thoughts continued in endless chaotic circles of fear and doubt.
“I never knew the wind could speak, even though, like the wind had said, have their not been Prophets who have said it is so? And have we not ignored them because we thought they were imagining things? Have we not laughed at them, just like some have laughed at me?”
“What is a Prophet, anyway?” he considered. “The Book of the Ancient Ways says they are a person who hears the voice of God, and speaks of invisible things of another kingdom. Sometimes they even tell us the future! Wait a minute, if I’m hearing such a voice, does that make me a Prophet? Or possibly a Prophet in training? Could the mountain be my great test?” Flapless was very lost in his thoughts when a voice from above suddenly interrupted!
“Hey, bro! What are you doing down there? You want to get eaten?”
“A voice!” Flapless shouted to himself, but then he thought, “Hey, bro? What kind of voice is that?” So as he looked in the direction of the voice, he spotted a small bird, a very small bird, much smaller than he, for it was a wren, and the little bird was perched on a limb above him.
“Oh! Hi, up there! I did not know you was there.”
“Yeah, I get missed a lot, but are you planning on sleeping down there?” the little wren asked.
“Yes. I have no choice. You see, it’s kind of a long story, but my wings do not work and I cannot fly. My name says it all, they call me, Flapless.”
“Flapless,” the wren repeated, “OH, I get it! So sorry for your condition, but since I am perching here tonight, I will try to keep an eye open for danger, and I can give you warning.”
“That is very kind of you, little wren. And what is your name?”
“My name is, Goliath, because I don’t like thinking small. I drove my parents so crazy with my wild ideas that they just started calling me, Goliath, you know, the giant?”
“Yes, I know of whom you speak. It is one of the stories in the Book of Ancient Ways. The same book that speaks of Prophets and hearing voices in the wind.”
“Yes, the same book,” the wren agreed.
Flapless noticed that Goliath seemed to be studying him closely, before finally asking, “Are you a starling, or a raven?”
“I’m a raven,” he answered.
“Hmmm,” the little wren sounded.
“I’ve heard that before,” Flapless thought.
“You know, I’m a bit of a student of the Ancient Book, and it is unfortunate that your kind has gotten such a bad rap in our times.”
“What do you mean?” Flapless asked.
“You know. All that stuff about witches and sorcery.”
“Oh, yeah, all that. I’ve never even seen a witch. I probably wouldn’t know one if I saw one.”
“If people studied the Ancient Book more, they would know how silly it all is. Just because ravens are listed as one of the unclean birds, I mean, aren’t we all? That is what salvation is about, right? And people seem to forget that our mighty eagle brother is listed as an unclean bird, too.”
“Actually, you ravens have a pretty good record in the Good Book of Ancient Ways. Noah sent one of your forefathers out of the ark first, because you are a stronger bird. The dove couldn’t handle the hardship. But your forefather bravely went forth, and stayed out much sooner than the dove.”
“Also, God chose another one of your forefathers to feed a very special man named, Elijah. And they faithfully took care of Elijah for as long as possible. And Jesus even used the raven when he spoke of taking no thought for your life, and what you will eat or wear, but seek first the kingdom of God.”
“Wow, you really do know the Ancient Book of God’s Word! Can I share with you the details of my journey? Perhaps you can help me have a better understanding, because earlier today I heard a voice in the wind, and that is how I ended up on the road to the mountains, for I was going to take the other path.”
“A voice in the Wind? Oh my. Yes, this will be very interesting. Please tell me all!”
“Well, starting from the beginning, I left home because I did not fit in, and I decided to go on a great quest in search of answers.” And so Flapless began to share every detail of his story with his new friend, Goliath.
The crickets chirped in the background as he described his great torment of having wings that do not work, and all his fellow birds who had hurt him with insulting names. He told of the owl who who who could not help him, and his many weeks of walking, walking, and walking. Until he finally had his encounter with “the Voice”, which he thought was the tree talking and he had gone crazy. But thank goodness it had turned out to be the wind speaking to him as it blew through the leaves of the tree. Then there was the turtle and his advice to listen to the wind and take the road to the mountains. Now here he was.
“I think I saw your turtle friend on the way here,” the wren said. “He was camped at a rock by a big tree.”
“Yes, that would be the one, but surely he was not right by the tree?”
“Well, it was a few feet away,” Goliath confirmed.
“Yes, that would be him. He is old and only has three legs.”
“Three legs?” Goliath repeated. “You know, I have seen something called a wheel. Some one should attach a wheel where his missing leg is, and it would probably help him a lot.”
“A wheel?” Flapless thought. “You really do think outside the box, don’t you.”
“Oh, yes, I guess I just did it again, didn’t I. Birds are not supposed to think of things like that.”
Goliath’s last statement was followed by a few minutes of silence, as both were lost in their own thoughts. The crickets never stopped chirping, and the stars never stopped shining as the two kept each other company. But finally, Goliath began to talk again.
“So the Wind spoke to you, huh. That is not a small thing, Flapless. And he said your condition is a great blessing?”
“Yes, but I’m afraid I don’t agree with that part. It has brought me a lot of pain and sadness. I have left my home. I have no friends. No place to lay my head. And I weary of all this walking. Now it is about to get even harder as I begin hiking up the side of this great mountain. I am afraid I might give out. What if I do not have the heart to make this great journey?”
“Hmmm, but you are a raven,” the little wren pointed out, and then added, “A bird for hard times. A bird that was first to leave the ark into the new world, and the bird that fed a Prophet during a time of famine and drought. Perhaps the Wind knows that you do have the heart?”
“He said he was All-Knowing,” Flapless added as he considered the little wrens words.
“Yes. That would seem to agree with the Book of Ancient Ways, but I never thought about it before. If this is true, then why do I fight the Wind?” Goliath asked out loud.
“What do you mean?” Flapless asked.
“Well, my wings work, and I use them for a few things. One, to get off the ground. Two, if I am flying with the Wind, I use them to go faster. Three, I use them if I decide to go ‘against’ the Wind, or in any way ‘counter’ to it. But I am beginning to ask myself, if the Wind is All-Knowing, why would I want to go faster than the Wind carries me, or counter to it in any way?”
“Hmmm,” Flapless found himself saying. “I think I see what you mean.” Then he considered that he could not believe he had just said, “Hmmm.”
End Chapter Three
Flapless and Goliath had talked way into the night, and when he finally fell asleep, Flapless knew he had finally made a friend. So it was that they both slept in late the next morning because they had stayed up so long talking. Goliath’s knowledge of the Ancient Book and Ancient Ways was amazing, and very helpful, because he had many questions about what it meant to be a Prophet? He did not know the Ancient Book like Goliath did. Had the wind sent the little bird his way, in order to answer his questions? Could the wind be that powerful? If the wind is All-Knowing, did it simply know the two of them would cross paths on this day, and there was no “making” the wren come, it was already going to happen and the wind knew it?
Just how did this Prophet thing work? Flapless was not sure he wanted any part of it. Goliath told him the story of the Prophet Jeremiah, and how he saw things that were future, things God wanted him to warn the people about, because the people were living very bad, and very bad things were coming because they were living so bad. The people needed to change their ways and listen to God, but they did not want to change, and so they got mad at Jeremiah, and they threw him into a muddy sewer pit, and left him to die! Flapless did not like the thought of people hurting you because they are mad at God.
Goliath said, had it not been for a friend of Jeremiah’s, who was willing to risk his life and go before the king to beg for him to be saved out of the pit, that he would have died there! But the king relented and Jeremiah was saved. Many years later he would eventually be murdered because of speaking God’s word, just like so many other people have been down through time.
Goliath had shared many stories and not all of them were bad. It was great to be a Prophet when things were good. Some Prophets had great power, like Elijah, who was eventually taken to heaven in a flaming chariot with horses! He went to heaven without ever dieing! But so many of the Prophets, Daniel, Isaiah, Elisha, Samuel, and even Elijah, had to endure many hard things because they heard the voice in the wind. They heard what others were not hearing, or refused to speak it out, but they spoke, and they endured much hardship because of it.
A bird for hard times, Flapless repeated to himself as he finally fell asleep late that night. Yes, he was a raven, and all his life he had been an outcast, and he knew what it was like to be laughed at, insulted, and hurt. Was this to be his whole life? He did not want it to be so. He did not want to be a Prophet who spoke of coming judgment and doom! But he wanted to fly, so what was he to do? Did the wind know the answer for him to fly? And what of what Goliath had said about flapping his wings?
Flapless had fallen asleep last night with that last question in his mind, and so when he began to wake this day, he found it was still there! Even while he was still in the state betwixt and between, when you are neither asleep nor awake, but somewhere in between, drifting in and out. What had Goliath said about flapping? That he used his wings to fly counter to the wind? And if the wind was All-Knowing, then why would we flap so hard to go our own way? Should we not live a life of complete surrender and peace, because the wind loved us with a love greater than death itself?
Flapless was sure he did not understand everything the little bird with the big thoughts was saying. He was sure Goliath understood what was going on here better than he did, but was not yet revealing all. Surrender? What had the wind asked before telling him to take the high road into the mountains? “Are you willing to trust me completely?” Yes, that is what the wind had asked. It was then, while in this state of drifting in and out, that Flapless realized that “complete trust” was just another way of saying, “surrender”. A life of surrender to the wind?
If Goliath could have seen Flapless’s thoughts, he would have known that Flapless still did not “get it”. For whenever Flapless spoke of the wind, he was seeing it as a word having a small “w”, whereas Goliath, having a greater knowledge of spiritual things, when he spoke of the wind, he spoke of it with a capitol “W”! Because he knew the Wind, and the voice in the Wind, was connected to God! And if Flapless was hearing God, then this was indeed a most fortunate event that he would make friends with such a one, and he was determined to become a disciple, and follow him up into the mountains.
As the two of them began to make ready for the new day, Goliath asked Flapless if he could accompany him on his great quest into the mountains? Of course Flapless was delighted to have a friend! And having such a one with great knowledge of the Holy Word was even better! It was exactly what he needed. And so it was that the one with greater knowledge of God’s Word, but could not hear God’s voice in the Wind, became the disciple of the one with lesser knowledge of God’s Word, but could hear the voice in the Wind, at least he could hear it sometimes, and he had a promise of hearing better in the near future.
Goliath was very excited as the two of them left their campsite and began hiking in the direction of the tall gray mountains, the very scary and harsh looking mountains. What would happen to them there? What would they learn? And would this bird called Flapless, ever fly?
It was about midday on their journey when they spotted a three-legged turtle up ahead slowly moving back in their direction. Flapless immediately recognized that it was Mr. Turtle, but however had he gotten ahead of them? It was with great anticipation they met and began to know his story.
“Mr. Turtle!” Flapless shouted. “So good to see you again! I did not know you was coming this way? How did you get here so quickly?”
Mr. Turtle stopped in his journey and blinked his eyes once…two times…and then three. “Hmmm,” he said. “Well… there I was minding my own business enjoying my campsite for the night. I had made good progress after you left. I had gotten all the way to the big rock just past the fork in the road at the tall tree. So I was weary from so much journey, and ready to take my rest, but then I heard wolves howling, and they were headed my way. I tried to put out my campfire, but I’m afraid they saw me. As they came running through, one of them scooped me up in their mouth and said, ‘Hey look everybody! A three-legged turtle!’ Of course I withdrew into my shell and would not come out! They ran and ran with me, and when they finally stopped, I was just up the road here. Well, actually I was probably right about here, because that was only three hours ago. They thought about eating me, but they mostly just wanted to play, because my shell is very hard and it is a lot of work to open. They quickly tired of the effort and ran off after better game. And that is how I got here on the road to the mountains, but I do not want to go into them because they scare me. I’ve never been there, and do not plan to.”
“I’m so sorry you had such a frightful night, but thank goodness you are still alright.” Flapless said.
“Yes, thank goodness,” Mr. Turtle agreed.
It was then Flapless realized he had not introduced Goliath to Mr. Turtle. “This is my new friend, Goliath. He is going to accompany me into the mountains. We now journey together.”
“Good to meet you, Mr. Turtle,” Goliath said.
Mr. Turtle blinked one time…then two times…then three. “A wren called Goliath. How very odd the two of you are, but it is good to have a friend. God has blessed you on your journey.”
“Yes, I guess he has,” Flapless agreed.
“Well, I better press on,” Mr. Turtle said, “For I am now weeks behind on my intended destination.”
Then Goliath asked a strange thing, “Are you sure you are weeks behind, or are you exactly where you are supposed to be at this very moment?”
“What a silly question,” Mr. Turtle replied. “Of course I am weeks behind. Did you not hear a word I said about the pack of wolves and my frightful night? Nevertheless, I will consider what you have said when I camp at that tree I see up there, a day’s journey ahead. You see; I can always see my whole day before me. My day’s end is never out of sight. Farewell, and good luck on your quest, my fine feathered friends.” And with that, Mr. Turtle began moving on.
“What a strange turtle,” Goliath said.
And Flapless said, “Yup.”
End Chapter Four
Flapless and Goliath stared up into the mountain as if it were a forbidden land where birds go to die. The jagged and rocky cliffs towered over them like giants ready to strike! The fear of the unknown gripped them both, but the Wind had requested Flapless go there.
“Are you sure this is what the Wind said?” asked Goliath.
“Yes. I’m sure, or I would not even be thinking about doing this.”
“And you say you have not heard another word since that conversation?”
“Not even a peep,” Flapless confirmed.
“There is a tree over there. Should we go camp at the tree and wait for the voice to speak to you again?” Goliath asked hopefully.
“It is still too early to camp, but we can go over there and see if the wind will speak.”
The tree was not far off the path, so it only took a moment to arrive. Flapless stared up into it, and the mountain could still be seen through the leaves, standing huge and dark. He stood there silent and listening, and though he heard a breeze in the leaves, he heard no words, just the normal sound of the wind. So he decided to speak first. “Hello? Mr. Wind? Are you there? Can you hear me? We are at the mountain and were just hoping to talk a little more, you know? Like, do I still have to climb this mountain?” Then he stopped to listen. And Goliath listened with him, but not a sound was heard. No words. No instructions.
“What do we do now?” the little wren asked.
Flapless remembered what the voice had told him. “We will be faithful to the last thing the wind said to me. We climb the mountain.”
And so they turned and left the tree and all of its leaves to return to the path leading up. “Here we go!” Flapless said, trying to sound brave.
“Yes! Here we go!” Goliath repeated.
And so the two little birds began their brave upward journey into the land of high places, where rock and ground meet sky. They hiked and they hiked and talked about many things, until they grew more tired and began to talk less.
After a while Flapless decided it was better when talking, so he asked, “What else can we talk about to take our minds off this great journey?”
“Have you heard the story of Zacchaeus in God’s great book?” Goliath asked.
“Didn’t he climb a tree?” Flapless asked.
“Yes, but why did he climb the tree?”
“I think you better tell me the whole story,” Flapless recommended.
“Okay, yes, Zacchaeus climbed a tree because there was a great man passing through his area, but Zacchaeus was very short and knew he would not be able to see the man when he came through because everyone would crowd around. All he would see is the backside of everyone pressing in.”
“Wasn’t the great man he wanted to see, Jesus?” Flapless asked.
“Yes, Jesus, the Son of God, but everyone was still trying to decide who this Jesus was? Was he simply a great teacher, a Prophet, a miracle worker of some sort, or was he really the Son of God? How well do you know this voice you heard?” Goliath asked.
Flapless was surprised by Goliath’s unexpected question. “Not very well. It is the first time I ever heard it, but there is something about the voice that calls to me. It rings true. It offers answers to great mysteries. I want to know it better, and this seems to be the only way I can.”
“Well, that is what happened to Zacchaeus. In order to be able to see Jesus, he made a climb, he climbed up into a sycamore tree, and when he made this climb to see Jesus, then Jesus saw him, and told Zacchaeus to come down out of the tree because he wanted to go to his house and spend time with him! Can you imagine? This great man is now coming to your house! He is coming because you made a climb, and he is going to spend time with you!”
“Wow, that must have been quite a surprise for Zacchaeus. I doubt he, (pant, pant), was prepared for that,” Flapless said, while beginning to notice a shortness of breath. “Whew! This climb is getting steep. Look how far we have come already,” he pointed out.
Both of them stopped in their tracks and looked at the great expanse of land spreading out before them, and way below, as far as the eye could see. The view was spectacular! “I’ve never seen anything like this before!” Flapless shouted. “I’ve never been so high! It’s breathtaking!”
“Indeed it is,” Goliath agreed, and then asked, “Do you feel the wind picking up?”
“And those dark clouds way over there?”
“Yes.” Flapless answered again.
“I think we better find a spot for the night. I don’t like the looks of that. I’ve never been in the mountains before, but if we are way up here in the air, and very little protection anywhere around us. I think the temperatures are dropping, too.”
“Yes. I think you’re right,” said Flapless, “It does feel colder than just a few minutes ago.”
“It’s also coming very fast!” Goliath shouted. “Look there in the distance! Do you see that mass of grayness with light flashing?”
“You’re right! We need to find shelter right now!”
It was then that a gust of air hit the side of the mountain so hard that it bowled both birds over and started rolling them across the ground! They were helpless in the blast! Their wings flapping this way and that as they rolled and rolled until they were pinned to the side of the mountain itself! Thunder began crashing, and the rain was very close now, but not quiet yet.
“I can’t move!” Goliath yelled to Flapless. “The wind has me pinned against this rock wall!”
“Me too! That gray mass is going to be here in just a matter of minutes! We got to do something!”
“What are we going to do?” Goliath asked loudly over the roar of the wind. “Is the Wind telling you anything?”
“No! I don’t think it is the same wind! This is an angry wind!” Flapless yelled while desperately looking all about. “Wait a minute! Look up above! Is that some sort of ledge?”
“Yes, I see it!”
“There is nothing here for us! Maybe if we let the wind hold us to the wall, we can crawl our way upward to the ledge?”
“And do what?” Goliath asked.
“I don’t know! Maybe there will be something there!”
“Okay, lets climb!”
Now the wind was not letting up at all but was roaring fiercer and fiercer as the lightning and thunder closed in. Flapless felt the first moisture beginning to strike, blown by the force of the wind, it even stung through his feathers as it hit.
“The storm! It’s almost here!” Goliath shouted in fear.
“Keep climbing!” Flapless shouted. He was the first to get a wing tip over the edge of the ledge to pull himself up. It took all his strength to do so, and his heart pounded so hard as he pulled his exhausted body up and over the ledge. He wanted to turn around and help Goliath, but as soon as he hit flat ground again, the wind started rolling him and blackness swallowed him up!
Now the rain hit in a sudden torrent! Goliath had not yet reached the ledge when he saw Flapless disappear. He felt like he was drowning, the rain was falling so hard and heavy. He was not sure he could keep going. “Am I going to die here?” he fearfully considered. But inch-by-inch he kept struggling upward as long as he had breath to fight, and finally he felt the ledge! More lightning flashed all around him, and thunder cracked so loud he thought his ears would explode!
Pulling as hard as he could, he rolled onto the ledge and was swept away just as Flapless had been. He hit something, and then he was swallowed by darkness and falling! But he did not fall far when he landed on something soft, and heard Flapless give a sudden groan.
“Flapless! Is that you? I can’t see! It’s so dark in here! Where are we?”
“Yes it’s me. We’re in some kind of hole. A hole that is getting wetter by the moment as the wind keeps blowing the rain in. I got a feeling we are in for a long and cold night, but at least were not being smashed by the wind, or fried by lightning.”
“Oh thank goodness,” Goliath said. It is raining so hard out there, I almost drowned just trying to get to the ledge!”
“On a good note,” said Flapless, “ our hole in the rock is not water tight. There is a crack over here. I can feel it. The water is leaking out. At least we will not drown, but this is going to be a very cold and miserable night. If this is what the mountains are like, I want no part of it. If we live through this, when the rain stops and it is daylight, I’m heading back to the flatlands. The mountains are as horrible as I was afraid they would be. I’m cold, wet, and miserable. I’m done with this. Let someone else climb the sycamore tree.” And with that, Flapless went silent, and Goliath did not know what to say.
End Chapter Five
Hour after hour the only sound heard was the cold wet howling wind. It was as if it wanted to eat them and was furious that it could not get them. The two birds shivered side by side in the hole as water constantly blew in and ran down the sides, and then out the crack.
Goliath was surprised when Flapless suddenly asked a question, “Is there a bad wind, and a good wind? Because I do not think this is the wind that spoke to me at the tree.”
“Hmmm,” Goliath said, but the sound rattled from the shivers in his body, and then they both laughed out loud as hard as they could!
When the laughter finally stopped they felt warmer, and the sound of the storm was finally letting up, but it would not be daylight for several more hours, and there would be no coming out of this hole until then.
“I think that would be a good question to ask the Wind if you ever speak with him again. I don’t know why things happen the way they do, but I know that after Zacchaeus spent time with Jesus, he was a completely changed man. Had he not been willing to climb up into a tree, I doubt he ever would have had that life changing conversation.”
“So what are you saying, Goliath? Are you suggesting we climb higher into this hard and fearful place?”
“I don’t know. Lets sleep on it and see how we feel when we get out of here.”
“Sounds good to me,” Flapless agreed, and the two friends quickly fell off to sleep. Since they were sleeping, the rest of the night passed swiftly, and soon they could see light at the top of their hole, reaching down into their darkness.
“I’m not sure I can climb out of here,” said Flapless.
“No problem, bro. Let me fly out of here and I will find a stick. I drop it in the hole and you can use it to climb out.”
The plan sounded good and so Goliath fluttered his way up and out while Flapless waited, still trapped below. Finally he heard Goliath grunting, groaning, and tugging at something up above. He hoped the little fella did not hurt himself trying to drag so large a limb. First he saw his little tail feathers sticking over the hole and jerking all about. Then Goliath disappeared and the end of a stick began to move in. He must have grabbed the other end at that point, because he suddenly flew up and dropped the stick in. Sure enough, the little guy had done it! Flapless climbed the limb and burst into the sunlight excited to still be alive!
“So what do we do now?” Goliath asked. “Do we go back to our small little lives down below, and dare no great things?”
Flapless looked out at the clear blue sky. It was still frigid, but warming quickly. He looked around for any more signs of storms, but could see none at this time. “Well, when you put it that way. Our lives below are pretty pathetic. I’m a bird called, Flapless, and I have only two friends, a wren called Goliath, and a turtle called…? Come to think of it, I don’t even know his name!” And then they both fell over laughing on the ground!
“Well, if he ever runs with us, it stands to reason that his name is something like, Tripod! Get it? Tripod?” And they both lost it again. They laughed so hard their stomachs hurt and they almost fell off the ledge. Finally in more pain than they could stand, they simply had to stop laughing. But every time they mentally pictured their little trio of Flapless, Goliath, and Tripod, they would begin to fall apart again, and beg the other person to stop saying it. “It is just too funny!” Flapless said. “I just got to stop thinking of this. Besides, I don’t expect to ever see him again. So, anyway, I will miss him, even though I hardly know him.”
“Me too,” said the little wren, as on their way they went.
More hours of steady climbing passed by. They had not reached the clouds yet, but they were getting very high.
“So do we know what we are looking for?” Goliath asked.
“I guess we are looking for the top,” he answered, and they continued on.
The views were spectacular. The excitement was building within them, and they were both glad they had not turned back, even though they had to take more breaks because the air was growing thin, and their bodies were not used to such conditions. On one break, Goliath began to explain, “You know, they say if you live in the high places, that your body grows stronger and adapts to the thin air. Eventually you can live up here as if it were normal, but what has become normal for you would still be a great strain for others still living in the flatlands.”
“That is right,” a voice suddenly spoke. “You should listen to the little wren, Flapless, and trust me completely.”
“Who said that?” Flapless shouted!
“Just people I’ve heard,” Goliath answered, somewhat startled by his friend’s sudden wild –eyed look.
“No! Not you!”
“Not me? Then who?” Goliath asked puzzled, but then, “Flapless! Did you hear the voice? Is it the rock? An ant? A cloud? Where is it speaking from?”
“Wait!” Flapless said, “I think I simply heard the wind?” They both sat silent for a minute, hoping the voice would speak again, but so far, nothing.
“What did the Wind say?” Goliath finally asked.
“He said you were right, and that I should listen to you, and trust the wind completely.”
“Wow! That is so cool!” Goliath exclaimed.
“I also think this is a good place. We are just below the cloud cover. I think we should camp here tonight and wait to hear more. I know it is still a little early, but I got this feeling I will hear more if we stay right here.”
“Then here we stay, my fine feathered friend! And we wait for you to hear more. Is this not why we have come here? We can succeed in our quest if we do not faint. We will do as you have said.”
It was not easy to scrape up enough wood to have a small fire that night, but with the help of Goliath flying about, they could have a small one if they rationed their supply. There was something about a campfire that was very comforting, and tonight, while the wood crackled and the embers glowed, perhaps they would commune with the Wind. And what did the Wind have to say to Flapless? He could hardly wait to find out. He had come all this way just so he could hear more from this special voice who was All-Knowing.
End Chapter Six
Now it was dark as the little fire gave a warm light in the stone cold of the mountainside. It took the bite out of it, as they sat very near the glow. It was built in such a way as to be close to a big rock, which partially blocked the cold wind and also heated the rock. The rock thereby became another source of heat as it absorbed it from the fire.
It had been a very hard journey into the mountain, with the storm the day before, and a cold wet night; both birds were weary to the bone. Food had been very lean also, but were they not on a spiritual quest? This was a time of seeking. It would be worth it all. Flapless had a great need for answers, and now he had a friend who was also looking for answers through him. This was new for him. He had only been laughed at before, but now someone saw something valuable in him? He did not want to let Goliath down, but what kind of answers was he expecting to get? Goliath already knew how to fly. Would the voice give him great spiritual wisdom to share with the little wren?
As much as Goliath wanted to stay awake, Flapless had watched him slowly drift off. He was now sound asleep as Flapless sat silent and watching. He stared into the small flame with the hot embers, losing himself in the pulsating glow.
Earlier in the night, when the fire was still young, Goliath had given him a scripture to hang onto. Now he had quoted it several times as he patiently waited.
“They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run, and not grow weary; they shall walk, and not faint.”
It was a beautiful scripture, and it seemed to sum up everything Flapless had been hoping for. There was also a knowing in him that he did not have before, something that developed during the two days of climbing. It did not surprise him when Goliath fell asleep, and it did not surprise him when the voice finally spoke, because he knew it was going to be here, and it was going to be tonight, so when the voice came, there was no surprise. He also finally understood; he recognized the wind, as the Wind! So he patiently waited.
“You have done well, Flapless, you and your friend. You stayed true to the last sound of my voice, even though things became very difficult,” said the Wind.
His eyes did not leave the fire as he entered this communion. “What if I had turned back? What if I had quit, like I almost did, and went back down the mountain? What would have happened then?” he asked.
“Your deep hunger never would have been satisfied. You would have continued to search and search, and you would have tried to fill the hunger with many things, but until you would finally hear and follow my voice, the hunger would never be satisfied,” the Wind answered.
He paused for a minute considering the answer before finally asking another question, “Why did you bring the storm? Why make it so difficult? If it is your will, and you desire for it to be fulfilled, why make it so hard, thereby inviting so much failure?”
“That storm was not just for you. Both you and Mr. Turtle needed it.”
Flapless’s heart leaped with surprise at the mention of Mr. Turtle! What could he possibly have to do with this? “I don’t understand,” Flapless stated. The fire crackled and a bright moon hung low in the distance while he waited for the answer.
“Poor Mr. Turtle,” the Wind began, “ The day he lost a leg was a sad day for him, but he could have turned it into great wisdom. That is what I had hoped. I spoke to him but he still did not hear. It was my hope that at his slower pace he might become one who hears my voice, but all he sees is each day’s goal. He sees it all day long, but so often it is snatched away from him. His tragedy was a chance for advancement, but he is haunted with bitterness.”
“Anyway, I’m afraid he was picked up by a great eagle that day, and would have become eagle food had I not brought the storm that caused the eagle to weary and drop him. He is currently ahead of you on your journey. He is above the cloud line camping at this very moment. I’m afraid he is very upset at being so far behind on his destination, instead of just being happy where he is. His two friends will meet him soon, and he does not even know it as he stews in his bitterness.”
Flapless realized that if the storm saved Mr. Turtle’s life, then he would have gladly endured it, had he only known, but the Wind did know all these things.
“As for you,” the Wind continued, “that which is easy has little reward. There are no great rewards without paying a great price. It is not simply my will for you to hear my voice, but that you also be completely devoted to our cause. I must have ‘first place’ in your life if I am to use you in any great capacity. And it is my desire for you to be such a one. Hearing my voice is only the first step. The hardest thing for a man to do is… NOT FLAP his wings.”
“What?” Flapless almost shouted; he was so taken by surprise!
“Yes. We call this ‘surrender’; it is precious in my sight, and very very powerful, the most powerful and wise of all. The greater the surrender, the more pure the gold. I measure my Prophets by their surrender. As my Apostle Paul so vividly put it, ‘When I am weak, then am I strong.’ The weakness he is referring to is to be weak towards me. Falling in love should make your heart grow tender and your legs weak! Great surrender is the result of a great love. When you trust me completely, and do not resist me, but are weak towards me, then I can make you strong against our enemies! But if you are resisting me, then you will be weak towards your enemies. My eyes search to and fro across the earth to find those whose heart is perfect towards me, and like David, they become great warriors against the most deadly of enemies. The one who wars against your eternal soul.”
“I would like to send you as a messenger to the bird kingdom, the kingdom of man, and anyone who will listen. Your message will be about the rewards of being ‘flapless’.”
“What? Is this some kind of a cruel joke?” Flapless thought.
“What people often think is a cruel joke, is often their golden opportunity,” the Wind answered, and then added, “Opportunity is a very precious thing.”
It was then that Flapless realized the Wind had just read his thoughts and answered him as if it were no different than hearing him out loud. “Wow, way cool! Maybe the Wind is All-Knowing,” he thought.
“Yes, it is rather cool, as you say,” the Wind agreed.
After that Flapless sat thinking for a long time. He wanted to fly so badly, but it was not what the All-Knowing Wind wanted. He could not help but express his sadness, “So I am doomed to never fly. Is that my price to pay?”
“Oh, Flapless, I never said you would not fly, as a matter-of-fact, I intend for you to soar! It is true you will not fly as other birds do. Your flying will always depend on the high places and learning to surrender to the Wind. You are a raven that will have more in common with the mighty eagle, than that of other ravens.”
Flapless could not believe his ears! For the first time real hope sprang in his heart and soul! To soar like the eagles? A raven that soars like an eagle? How would this be? Could the Wind really make this happen? “Yipeee! Lets do it now!” flapless shouted!
When Flapless shouted, he startled Goliath from his sleep, causing him to fall backwards off his rocky perch! The little wren hit the hard ground with a solid thump and then came bouncing right back up in a great flurry of wings and feathers! “What’s wrong? What’s going on? What’s the matter? What did I miss?” he questioned.
“Nothing is wrong, Goliath. I’ll tell you everything later. You can go back to sleep,” Flapless offered.
“Okay,” Blink! And he was sound asleep again.
Flapless did not want any distractions going on while the Wind fixed his wings so he could fly. “Okay, Wind. Fix me! I’m ready. Do whatever you need to do so I can fly. Even if it hurts. I can take it. I just want to fly!”
“I know you do, little bird, but your wings are already as I want them. You will not fly as other birds fly. As I said, your flying will depend upon you being faithful to the high places. You will spread your wings and launch yourself like a mighty eagle, but you will never flap! You are my chosen messenger to show my people the power of a flapless life. Do you trust me completely?” the Wind asked.
“I think so,” Flapless answered. “I want to.”
“Do you believe I am All-Knowing?” the Wind asked.
“Yes,” he answered.
“Then why would you need to flap your wings when you can simply ride the Wind? Goliath had the right questions, and you can tell him the answers, but it will be harder for him, because his wings work and it is a great temptation to flap your wings. You will teach him to launch himself from the high places, just like a mighty eagle. You will seek great mastery of riding my invisible currents as far as you can, but there will be regular times of spiritual discipline, when you need to climb back into the high places, refresh yourself in my Spirit, before you can launch again. This is a price you must pay.”
“Hmmm, that does not sound so bad,” Flapless thought. “Let me see if I got this right?” he asked. “My flying would depend on me spending precious time with you.”
“Yes, that pretty much sums it up. Most of my people spend so much time flapping about that they never learn to live a life of soaring. They that wait upon the Lord. I have made it very plain in my Word, but flapping is such a great temptation that they still fail to surrender, trust, and obey. I am All-Knowing. They can trust my perfect will and perfect wisdom for their life. You have a great blessing. I have removed this temptation of flapping from you. Do not let me down. Speak my Words from your mouth and be my Prophet!”
Something came over Flapless at that moment. It was as if a river of great joy was springing up in his belly and flowing out his mouth! Tears flowed. Emotions flowed. A great release sprang forth from within! Flapless let go of all the pain he was harboring inside, and gave it to God. He forgave those who had called him names, and began trusting completely.
When he finally recovered from his great spiritual enlightenment, he was ready for more. “So what happens now, Holy Spirit?”
“Tomorrow you will climb higher and pass through the cloud cover just above. First you and Goliath will help Fred.”
“Fred?” Flapless questioned, and then asked, “Is that Tripod?”
“He may allow you to call him Tripod, but Fred the turtle is his real name.”
“Fred?” Flapless said again with a chuckle. “Fred…the turtle. I think Fred, might like Tripod better.”
“You can ask, but proceed with caution,” the Wind advised. “After you help Fred, you will climb higher till you meet an eagle who will instruct you in the finer arts of soaring. He will take you to a sacred ledge where you will leap out into thin air, and begin to soar. You will spend seven days in these high places mastering your skills, and then I send you to man. Goliath will be your helper, as Joshua was to Moses.”
“Seven is my number of completion and covenant. I rested on the 7th day because my work was completed. My people were instructed to circumcise on the 7th day, a sign of my covenant with them. Also, 3+4=7. Three is my number, a holy Trinity. Four is the number of the created world. The four corners of the earth, the four seasons, and so on. 3+4= my covenant with man. ‘For GOD (3), so loved the WORLD (4), that he gave his only begotten SON (7). 3+4=7. This is the spiritual equation of man’s opportunity, and opportunity is a precious thing.”
“Now I will cause a great sleep to fall over you, and one hour of sleep will give you seven hours of rest. Then you will be ready to climb higher, and fulfill everything I have said, my faithful raven. You are a bird for hard times, and such a time it is. Teach my people to surrender, and soar, before it is too late, for there is one who is coming. Teach them to live in the high places so that when they do flap, it is blessed of God.”
And with that, Flapless suddenly fell into deep sleep!
End Chapter Seven
Just as the Wind had said, Flapless slept one hour and then woke feeling very refreshed. Then he woke Goliath and felt sorry for the little bird because he had slept so hard he was almost drunk! His words slurred, his eyes blurred, his legs walked with a wobble, and his head was all ruffled.
“C’mon, Goliath. You can work it out as we travel,” Flapless advised while he steadied his little partner and helped him take a few steps. “Here, drink some water.”
About ten minutes of struggling up the path went by before Goliath was normal again. “Oh my, I slept so hard last night. I was so tired. I don’t remember a thing.”
“You should feel extra good today,” said Flapless.
“Yes, sir. I’m feeling better every minute. Hey! By the way, didn’t you say the Wind was going to talk to you last night?”
“Yes,” Flapless answered.
“Well, what happened?”
“We had one of those life-changing conversations you talked about, and first thing that is going to happen is, we are going help Fred.”
“Cool beans!” Goliath blurted out, and then asked, “Who’s Fred?”
“Fred is Mr. Turtle, you know, Tripod?”
“Fred is Tripod? Wait a minute, you said you did not know his name, and why would Fred Tripod be up here?” Goliath’s mind was racing so fast he could not ask his questions quickly enough, and Flapless was enjoying watching the wren bounce about, because all that extra energy was overflowing into his little bird body language.
“There he is now!” Flapless pointed out. “Hey Fred! So good to see you again!”
Fred was slowly making his way down the path when he heard Flapless yell and quickly discerned they were in tomorrow’s territory, but rapidly approaching his today. So he stopped, blinked once…then twice…and then a third time, as he watched them approach.
“Tripod! I mean, Fred! Fred?… I mean, Mr. Turtle! How did you get ahead of us again?” Goliath finally blurted out his question, still very flustered and bobbing about.
Fred looked at Goliath and how strange he was acting, so he decided to blink three times again. First he blinked once…then twice…then a third time, before saying to Flapless, “Your little friend is acting very strange. Is it possible he has altitude sickness?”
“Could be,” Flapless agreed. “He hasn’t been normal all morning.”
“I don’t have any attitude sickness, or aptitude, or whatever it was you said! And what is normal anyway? Certainly not us! I’m a wren called Goliath! You’re a raven called Flapless! And this is a turtle called Fred Tripod! What is normal about any of this? And some how Fred Tripod, the slowest moving turtle I ever saw, keeps getting ahead of us! Somebody please help me, I think I’m going mad!”
“Well, if it passes before noon, then it is probably just morning sickness,” Fred advised.
“I’m not pregnant!” Goliath yelled at the top of his lungs before beginning to see spots. In his excitement the thin air was taking a toll.
“You better sit him down,” Fred advised. “You can’t be too careful with a pregnant wren. Is he showing yet?”
“I give up,” the poor little wren finally said, as he huffed and puffed trying to catch his breath.
Now that Goliath was calming down, Flapless decided to take control of the conversation, “Well, to answer one of your questions, Mr. Turtle got scooped up by a giant eagle a couple days ago, and was dropped here on the mountain during the big storm we almost died in.”
Goliath’s eyes were big as acorns, but he did not say a thing.
Fred blinked his eyes once…then twice…then three times…then four, before asking, “How did you know all that? Are you a Prophet?”
But Goliath answered the question when he very slowly said, “He’s-been-talking- to-the-Wind!”
“We are here to help you, Fred,” said Flapless.
“We are?” asked Goliath.
“You are?” asked Fred.
“Yes,” Flapless confirmed, “But first I would like to give you a new name.”
“Oh yeah! We been laughing about this for days!” Goliath blurted out while slapping his knee.
“Yes. I hereby name thee, Trinity, like the great Creator who created all!”
“Do what?” Goliath gulped, and then added, “Really cool name though.”
“Trinity,” Mr. Turtle repeated slowly. “Yes, I like that. From this day forth, Trinity shall be my name!”
“Yaaa!” Goliath yelled as he applauded, and then turned his attention to Flapless, “Okay, buster. You got a lot of explain’n to do. I perceive there is a lot you have not told me, and you better start putting the butter on the bread right now!”
“Butter on the bread?” Flapless asked puzzled.
“It just sounded good at the time. What else did the Wind tell you?”
“We’re here to help Trinity, before we move on to anything else. Actually, I think you are going to help him, with that wheel idea you spoke of. Remember?”
“Oh, yeah! That is a really cool idea! All we got to do is create a wheel and somehow attach it to the bottom of your shell!”
Flapless noticed that Trinity was not saying anything, but was doing an awful lot of blinking. It was obvious that he was plenty worried that a psychotic pregnant wren named Goliath was about to do something to him called a wheel.
Goliath was racing about looking for this thing. “We’re in luck!” he suddenly shouted. The little wren had spotted a discarded pulley attachment that some mountain climber had probably lost. “This will work!” he shouted. “Now I just got to figure out how to attach it?”
Trinity was no longer blinking, but he had his eyes solidly closed, afraid to open them, not wanting to see whatever it was the crazy wren was going to do to him.
“Hey! Look at this great clamp I found! This trail is a junk man’s treasure trove!” Goliath raced back to Trinity and in no time at all was stepping back to examine his work. “Ta-daa!” he shouted. “Go ahead, Trinity. Give it a try.”
Mr. Turtle slowly opened his eyes. He stretched his neck as turtles do and looked back at his left rear corner that had always drug in the dirt like an anchor weighing him down. He saw some kind of a contraption clamped to the bottom of his shell, but felt no pain. Since it did not hurt to have this wheel thingy attached, he decided to give it a try. So he pulled with his front legs and pushed with his one good back leg. “It works!” Trinity shouted! “I can move so easy! I never thought I would move freely again! You have given me a gift I can never repay, my friends! I have a new name! And I can move like a young turtle again! This has been the best day of my life!”
The trio spent the next hour celebrating and sharing their stories, but most of all, Goliath and Trinity both, wanted to hear what the Wind had said to Flapless. So he explained that he was to meet an eagle at the top of this mountain, and the eagle was going to train him in the ways of the Wind. He told Goliath that the Wind called him a Joshua, and he would be his helper.
“A Joshua? Wow! Joshua is a great Bible character!” Goliath proclaimed.
Flapless went on to explain how mankind does so much flapping, that they are too busy to enter the high places and learn to soar. They do not take time for serious prayer, which is a special surrender that is very precious to God. This was to be his message to mankind, this message about prayer, surrender, and soaring. The greater the surrender, the purer the gold.
Soon it was time for Flapless and Goliath to press on. “How about you, Trinity? Would you like to go with us?” Flapless asked.
Trinity blinked once before asking, “Did you say you are meeting an eagle?”
“I think I’ll pass. Besides, I’m a turtle. I’m still a lot slower than you guys, and if I am going to help you in the flatlands, then I need a big head start to get there. My new wheel is going to make it so easy! And I’m headed down hill! I’m going to enjoy this!”
“Very well, Trinity,” Flapless agreed. “I will see you in the flatlands, and you can help us spread the good news.”
Goliath hopped on Trinity’s back and said, “Give me a ride, bro!” It was all great fun, as the friends parted to carry out their separate deeds. They were now a team for God… Flapless, Goliath, and a three-legged turtle called, Trinity.
End Chapter Eight
They watched Trinity disappear into the cloud line below, as he was moving much faster than before, and it was, after all, downhill. The sun shined brightly on the top of the clouds. Flapless and Goliath looked out across the powder white puffs, like a bright quilted blanket of cotton as far as the eyes could see.
“Did you ever think you would see such a sight?” Goliath asked Flapless.
“No, I really did not. There is something to be said for this life in the highlands. Look how clear that sky is, and how bright the sun.”
“Yes, it takes your breath away,” said the little wren.
There was not a lot of climbing left to go, so they were not expecting a long day. If they did not find the eagle at the top, then they would set another campsite and wait, but that did not prove to be the case, because just an hour later a mighty eagle came swooping down out of the sky and landed gracefully before them!
“Ho! Are you the bird known as Flapless?” the eagle asked.
Goliath looked like a speck before the great winged creature, and for once he was utterly speechless.
Flapless remembered what the Wind had said, that he was going to be a raven living like an eagle! How cool is that, he thought. “Yes! I am Flapless.”
“Welcome to the high places my shinny black friend! Boy, you stand out like an obsidian stone against all this bright white.”
It was true. For since they had climbed above the cloud line, the mountain was covered with white snow. It was not deep, just a hard crusty covering they were easily able to walk on top of.
“Tonight I will take you to my place. We will enjoy a nice fire I already have prepared. We will eat fine meat and berries I have gathered, and we will talk way into the night, for there is much for me to explain to you concerning the high places. I understand your power of flight is very connected to your life in the high places.”
“Yes. It is,” Flapless confirmed. “If I hit ground in the lowlands I will have a lot of walking ahead of me, for I cannot flap my wings. So I must always launch from the high places.”
“Your handicap may be more of a blessing than you realize, my shinny black friend. I do admire that glossy shine you have. We will become great friends. And who is this feisty little guy by your side?”
“This is my close friend, Goliath.”
“Goliath!” The eagle chuckled. “Oh, you guys are going to be fun. Next thing I know you will be telling me you know a three-legged turtle named Tripod! Haa, ha, ha!” The big eagle laughed at his own joke. “Now just climb on to my back, boys, for you are in for a short, but breath-taking ride!”
The eagle bowed low and spread one great wing out on the ground to allow them to climb on. “Don’t say anything about the turtle!” Goliath whispered to Flapless as they climbed on.
“Hold tight now!” the eagle shouted, and before they new it they were off the ledge and diving at a breakneck speed into the gorges before them! Then swooping up into the sunlit sky as if there were a rocket attached to the eagle’s tail!”
“If only Trinity could see us now!” Flapless shouted.
“Who?” the eagle asked.
“Nobody important,” Goliath shouted as he shot Flapless a dirty look.
But Flapless was in a world of his own. “Faster!” he shouted to the eagle. “Fly higher!” he cried.
“This is a bird after my own heart,” the eagle thought. “He gets the grand tour.” And away they went, swooping, diving, and gliding over vast valleys and jutting cliffs! White-capped peaks zoomed by at tremendous speed, and they shot holes in fluffy clouds as if they were a winged bullet from a gun! It was awesome and Flapless loved every minute of it, before the mighty eagle finally headed towards his mountain citadel, high upon a cliff. It came into sight strong and bold, it was as a mountain fortress, safe from the dangers of the lowlands. How impressive it was, and here it would be that he would learn to live like an eagle. For the next seven days this would be his home, an eagle dojo.
They landed swiftly, and the eagle lowered his wing again for them to climb off. “Let me introduce myself and welcome you to my home,” he began, “My name is Sky Shadow, and many of the enemy has feared when my shadow swept across their path.”
I can believe that, Flapless thought to himself.
“I command this sector of the high places,” Sky Shadow continued. “My home overlooks this territory known as, Carpe Diem Jehova, which means, “Seize the day for God!”
“Wowwwww….” Goliath said in utter amazement.
“Thank you for your great kindness, Sky Shadow,” Flapless stated.
“Think nothing of it, Flapless, for we both serve the same King, and it is in his service I do act. It is a great honor to be chosen to train fellow warriors. We will enjoy these seven days we have been given. Now, lets get our fire going, and prepare to eat! For we have much to talk about!”
As Sky Shadow had said, he had everything ready for his guest, and in no time at all the fire was started and burning strong. It was obvious the mighty bird had soared about collecting the best of woods for the fire, and his skill in choosing was proving true.
The meats were run through with a metal bar. Flapless could see fat dripping as it roasted over the flames. Goliath, however, was not a meat eater and he had his eyes on the fat berries piled before them. What a feast they were about to have! A feast worthy of kings!
Another full moon was just coming up over the mountain peaks as the trio settled in for their night. Its eerie glow cast upon the white-capped mountains was a sight to be seen.
“Just look at that, boys,” Sky Shadow invited. “Isn’t it beautiful?”
“It surely is,” Flapless agreed, and so did Goliath.
The three of them just sat there for a while, at the top of the world, a fire flickering, a full moon glowing, white caps casting a majestic presence, and the smell of meat cooking over an open flame. All three knew it didn’t get any better than this, but what price had been paid to reach such a moment? It had not come easy. It had not come without being willing to leave the low life behind, and follow a voice into the high places. It had required ignoring what others said or thought, and staying true to a voice not everyone heard, but now all was confirmed, they had passed a test, they had not fainted, and here was the reward. After this would come more tests, more hardships, but also more rewards. This was the way of life on planet earth, a place of choosing, testing, failing and rewarding. Some people chose wisely, and some did not, but how could they even know if Prophets, Preachers, and Teachers did not proclaim God’s Word? The truth must be told, so those who desire to choose right, will know. Everyone deserves the chance to choose right.
“You have a great message, Flapless,” Sky Shadow began to instruct. “And I can see that Goliath is a faithful friend. He will be a great asset to your mission. It is important for you, Goliath, to also learn as much as you can of the things I am teaching Flapless, for these are great spiritual truths that the people below need to hear. Understand?”
“Yes, sir,” Goliath answered with eyes as big as the moon. It startled him when the great eagle looked in his direction and spoke directly to him. He thought this was all about Flapless, and maybe his time would come later, but no, the eagle saw him, too. The eagle missed nothing, not even a bird as small as he.
“So, both of you, listen well…for the gifts of God are without repentance!” the eagle thundered. “I will pray for this food, and then I will explain as we enjoy God’s great provisions this day.”
Everyone bowed their heads and the mighty eagle gave God thanks for the food he had so graciously provided, and that they did not go hungry this day, but were blessed above measure, and for this he humbly gave thanks.
After the prayer, Sky Shadow carved off some meat and handed it to Flapless, while Goliath was already picking out some berries to enjoy, along with a couple small worms he had found.
“It is very important that you understand the gifts of God are without repentance,” said the eagle. “We know this based on Romans 11:29. Here is a Bible for you, Flapless, and one for you, too, Goliath. These are new Bibles for you to go forth with new understanding that you are receiving over these next seven days. There is no other book like the great book of the Ancient Ways, written by the Ancient of Days, God himself.”
The two little birds took their new Bibles with great care and admiration. Flapless had never had a Bible of his own, and Goliath had lost his when trying to escape a cat one day.
“Flapless, please turn to Romans 11:29 and read us what it says,” Sky Shadow requested.
As he turned the pages of his Bible, so did Goliath. And as Flapless read, Goliath carefully followed along.
“Romans 11:29, ‘For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.’”
“Yes. There you go,” the great eagle said. “Do you know what that means?” he asked.
“That he will not take his gifts or calling back?” Goliath ventured an answer.
“Yes, little one, you are very right, but let us look even deeper so we understand what that ‘really’ means,” the eagle emphasized. “God very carefully chose the gifts he wanted ‘you’ to have. These gifts are meant to be something God ‘shares’ with you. We have entered into a great love covenant with God. Our gifts and calling are meant to be a way that we ‘interact’ with Him. It is to be a way that our love flows together, and when we are faithful to include God in the operation of our gifts, then we are ‘anointed’, and the gift fulfills what it was designed to do.”
“Not only that,” the eagle continued, “but as we flow together with God in the operation of our gifts, then that which is born of the gifts is a product of both us and God. Therefore, that which is born of us is like a child birthed by a married couple. It is the product of us walking in intimate relationship with our God. However, if we love our giftings and abilities more than God who gave them, then what is birthed through us is less and less God, and more and more us. Our fruit becomes less and less Spirit and heaven, and more and more flesh and the world. But God has promised he will not take our giftings from us, so we go right on birthing things that are so contaminated by the world that they are of no use to God, and they will not help mankind.”
“So let me be very plain about this, the sin of flapping too much, is the sin of us taking things in our own hands, and not operating by the Spirit Principals of the Kingdom of God. We don’t spend time with God because we are too busy flapping our wings making things happen in our own wisdom, strength, and desires. Our enemy has succeeded in catching us up in flapping, when we could be soaring.”
“Wwwoooowwww,” Goliath sighed. “That is an amazing understanding!”
“When you look around and see how few birds are soaring, then you get some idea of how important your message is, Flapless. Your message can make the difference between a church that is powerful, and one that is weak, sickly, and full of the world.”
Flapless was very quiet as he listened to Sky Shadow, but the eagle saw the concern in his eyes.
“Go ahead and ask your question,” the eagle said.
Flapless was hesitant to speak, but he knew he had to voice his fear, “What if I fail, Sky Shadow? The message is so important, and now I am afraid of what might happen to everybody if I fail?”
“A very good and proper concern to have, but if you live by what I am going to teach you, and if you speak the message, then you will not fail. There will be many who fail to receive and obey your message, but your mission is to live it, and speak in love and truth. Therein lies your success. You are not responsible for what the hearers do with what you have spoken. It is not you they reject, but it is God. And if they receive your words, they receive God. Understand?”
“Yes,” Flapless answered.
“Very good,” Sky Shadow confirmed. “So if you understand what it means that God’s gifts are without repentance, then you should also understand how important it is that everything you do is birthed out of the high places, as God intended, because if you choose not to, then God does not take the gift away, but allows you to waste it, and misuse it, until the day comes that you stand before him to give an answer as to why you were so disobedient, self-serving, and foolish with your gifts? This is a very serious error in the Kingdom of God.”
“Yes, sir,” both Flapless and Goliath answered in unison when Sky Shadow paused and looked at them.
End Chapter Nine
The moon was higher in the sky now, and most the food had been consumed as the friends continued their conversation. Both Sky Shadow and Flapless were drinking hot coffee that was rich and black, while Goliath had settled into a hot cup of green tea, a strange drink he never had before, but discovered he loved very much.
“Now there are three very important things you must remember and practice if you are to live a life in the high country. In order to make it easy to remember, I call them the Three ‘P’s.” Sky Shadow explained.
“The Three ‘P’s?” Goliath repeated.
“Yes. The Three ‘P’s,” the eagle confirmed. “Now the Three ‘P’s stand for this; Praise, Prayer, and Promises. Write them down and memorize them. Praise…Prayer…and Promises,” he repeated, as the two little birds scribbled notes in their Bibles.
“Let me explain why this is so important. The flesh does not trust the Wind. The flesh does not like surrender. Our carnal mind does not think like God and will resist Him. So how do we keep our flesh down and our spirit man up? We MUST give the spirit man what he needs to stay strong! For the flesh must be kept down and this is not an easy thing to do, unless we learn that God supernaturally helps us. But God can only supernaturally help us if we apply His supernatural principals of Praise, Prayer, and Promises. These things keep us humble. This is very important! You must remember to be weak and surrendered towards the one you love! These things keep us humble and obedient…so that…as the scriptures say…GOD will LIFT US UP! Who lifts us up?” Sky Shadow suddenly asks.
“God will!” they both quickly answered.
“That is right,” the eagle emphasized. “God will, not us, nor anybody else. This is the soaring life of the eagle. God lifting us up. ‘They that wait upon the Lord…’. It is said so very plainly, and yet we wrestle with our wings, because the Three ‘P’s require time and work. True love also requires time and work. We must not weary in well doing, but as warriors, we must exert the weapons of our warfare!” Sky Shadow stomped his foot and Goliath fell off his perch!
“Oh, sorry little fella. I sometimes get excited when teaching God’s Word,” Sky Shadow explained.
“That’s alright. I like it!” the little bird with the big name shouted, and they all chuckled for several minutes while they refilled their hot drinks. But as they returned to serious conversation, Sky Shadow said the Three ‘P’s would be tomorrow’s subject, and now was the time for easy conversation and the asking of questions, before they would retire for the night. And so it was that upon a lofty moonlit cliff, a mighty eagle was explaining things to a raven and wren, about how to live as an eagle.
Another hour passed quickly by and then everyone turned in to their bird bunks for a good night’s sleep, but Flapless was so anxious about tomorrow that he did not sleep right away. His mind was filled with thoughts of, “Will I fly tomorrow? Will I launch from a great cliff out into thin air? And what happens if I fall? How can these broken wings that do not flap possibly ride the Wind?” Thoughts like these filled his head as he finally fell hard asleep. And to this day, no one knows the dreams he dreamed that night, for the writer has not shared them, and neither has Flapless.
The next day dawned bright and clear as Sky Shadow shouted, “Everybody up! This is a day that the Lord has made and we are rejoicing in it! We have great weather! Clear skies! But you will not fly today because you must come to know the Wind better, before we dare have you leap out there. If you should drop like a rock, even I might not be fast enough to catch you.”
Flapless swallowed hard at that last statement, but was relieved he would not leap today, for in his heart of hearts he knew he was not ready. He was glad that Sky Shadow seemed to know what he was doing.
Breakfast was light and before they knew it class was being called to order with Sky Shadow ready to teach, and Goliath and he ready to listen and learn.
“So what are the Three ‘P’s?” the eagle asked.
“Praise, Prayer, and Promises!” they answered.
“That is right! Very good, class. And now I will explain why these Three ‘P’s are so important. You enter the high places by stirring up your spirit in God’s Holy Spirit. But if you are not living in the high places, then you cannot launch forth without flapping your wings, and if you do too much flapping, it does not take long before you are all flap, and no Spirit! Get it? All flap and no Spirit?” the great eagle chuckled. “Know what I mean? Especially in your case, Flapless, because if you fail to catch a Wind from the high places, then you are totally grounded. You cannot flap your wings to get going again. It will be critical for you to always know how to catch a current of Wind from out of the high places, and let that Wind lift you off the ground and back into the sky.”
“The birds who do not know how to do this will be amazed! They might even accuse you of sorcery, even as they did Jesus, and especially since you are a raven. But your testimony and your actions will prove them wrong.”
“Now here is a word of advice that you will likely not be able to keep, but you should at least try as often as possible. Launch forth from the high places at the start of every day. Do not give the enemy opportunity. What I am saying is, start your day with Praise, Prayer, and Promises! This is known as our ‘first fruits’ to God. We may not always be able to control our morning schedule, and it may be difficult, but too much jumping from bed and rushing off into your day without spiritually focusing yourself, and you will be grounded like a bird made of stone! Your anointing has all leaked out! And now it is very difficult to discern a current of Wind flowing from out of the high places. Do you understand?”
“I’m not sure,” Flapless said. “Are you telling me that by practicing Praise, Prayer, and Promises, is the power for me to fly? Are you saying that singing, praying, and studying God’s Word will enable these broken wings to fly upon an unseen current lifting me into the air?”
“Yes, that is what I am telling you. And if you neglect to worship, pray, and feast upon God’s Word, your spirit man will grow weak, the anointing will leave you, and you will be forced to live as an ordinary bird, which in your case means you will be completely grounded, because you are a bird with broken wings.”
Flapless became very quiet as he thought about this. However, now Goliath had a question, and slowly raised his wing.
“Yes, Goliath. What is your question?”
“I’m wondering,” he began, “does this also mean that the more faithful we are in practicing the Three ‘P’s, then the more powerful our flying will be?”
“Yes, Goliath. Excellent question. Upon reaching a certain mastery of this lifestyle, a lifestyle Jesus himself exhibited, you will be a wren living like an eagle, and Flapless will be a raven living like an eagle, and you will be able to share the good news of the flap-less, and soar-more lifestyle with others. Who wants to flap when they can soar? That is the question that haunts mankind, and yet they fall into the same trap over and over again. God is sending the two of you to make a difference in the way people start their day, and live their lives. More people flapping-less, and soaring-more, will cause a great change in the earth. The enemy will fight it tooth and nail, for he fears this revelation taking hold. But God has always used the minority to upset the majority and turn the world upside down! For the world does not understand God’s wisdom, and when it is right side up, they think it is upside down, and it really freaks them out! L-O-L!” the eagle said while laughing.
“L-O-L?” Flapless looked at Goliath who was also cracking up!
“Yeah, you know. Don’t you?” Goliath asked, and then realized, “No, he probably don’t!” And then they both laughed more and more before explaining to Flapless about texting lingo.
Once this was accomplished, Sky Shadow told Flapless and Goliath that the next few days of their training would simply be spent developing a strong Praise, Prayer, and Promise lifestyle. This was the critical element to reaching a spiritual point of complete surrender and trust upon the Wind. He explained that this was the hard part, and once this was completed, then it was just a matter of sensing the voice and leaping out there. Well, a little more than that, he corrected. I will be showing you the fine points of soaring, but the real hard work will already be done, he confirmed.
Sky Shadow also explained that the way we approach our devotional time can make a big difference. If we come with the joy of praising the God that has blessed us so much, and connected us to such an incredible future, then we will not see it as a drudgery, but we will simply start praising our God and then it will flow into all the other things we need to do, including the hard work of praying the fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man that avails much. It’s not all fun, he admitted, but it is very important work that must be done, especially for someone walking in a Prophet’s office.
And so it was that the next few days became full of time spent in worship, prayer, meditation, memorization of scripture, study and reading of scripture. Each day began with at least a short time of praise and prayer. It did not take long for Flapless to begin to see a real difference in the way he thought and felt. His world was changing, and it was real, and it was powerful. And the question was so obvious, why live a life of flapping, when you can soar?
End Chapter Ten
Finally the day had come, day six, and if everything went well today, as Sky Shadow expected, then on the seventh they would rest. Once again the day started as each day had been starting, with the Three ‘P’s, and Flapless was extra exuberant in his devotions, because today would be his great leap into thin air, and he needed all the anointing he could get! He was still very nervous about it, but the intense fear had been replaced with such a love for the Wind, that he could hardly wait to leap into the arms of the one who was All-Knowing, and trust his fate to the Ancient of Days.
“Are you ready, Priest of the Most High Wind?” Sky Shadow asked.
Flapless looked up from his silent meditation and said, “I am.”
“Very good. You have prepared yourself like a spiritual sword priest. You will invite others to this fiery hearth you have known, and they will be discipled too. You will start a school, raising up faithful children of God who know what it means to soar. The name that brought you shame will eventually bring you fame, but be careful in that, for fame can be a poison. Our path is a path of humility, humble and obedient before our God, for it is He who lifts us up, and not we ourselves.”
“Yes, Teacher,” Flapless agreed. “I will be careful, and I will remember,” he confirmed.
Sky Shadow stretched one of his great wings to the ground as a signal for Flapless and Goliath to climb aboard, and so they did. The eagle had already explained that there was a sacred cliff they would go to for his launching, and now they were on the way. The wind soared through Flapless’s feathers as he hung onto the broad back of the mighty eagle. The sacred ledge was not far away; it could actually be seen from the eagle’s citadel, and so they arrived in no time at all.
The two small birds climbed off and surveyed the vast expanse before them. Goliath knew this was Flapless’s moment, and so he backed away acknowledging the reason they were there. Both birds could feel wind currents rising up out of the valley bellow, but which current was the right one? Since Flapless had no ability to flap whatsoever, he had to be very careful to catch the right current from God that he was meant to soar upon. As a Prophet this was very important. Whereas others could flap their wings and flutter around until they finally got it right, he had to get it right from the start!
“Only you can leap from this sacred ledge,” Sky Shadow stated. “I will be out there to catch you in case you make a mistake. It is important that I be already out there. Once you manage to catch a proper Wind and stay aloft, then I will fly by your side and give you pointers on the finer skills of soaring. Understand?”
“Yes, Teacher,” Flapless acknowledged.
“Remember, it is a complete surrender, a complete trusting of the one who is All-Knowing. We can trust Him.”
“Thank you, Teacher. I understand.
Then Sky Shadow spread his great wings and launched out into the thin air.
Goliath was in the back taking in every moment. Sky Shadow makes that look so easy,” he thought to himself, but he did not speak anything out loud, for this was such a serious moment for his friend who had never flown in his entire life, a bird with broken wings. Goliath considered what it would be like to leap out into that nothingness knowing that your wings cannot flap. He could not imagine how scary that could be, even if there was a great eagle promising to catch you. So he continued watching as Flapless finally stepped up to the very edge of the sacred cliff. His shinny black feathers were ruffling in the gusts of wind. Goliath noticed him close his eyes and slowly turn his head, like he was listening for something. The drama became so intense it was all Goliath could do to keep his mouth shut, because that had never come easy for him, but suddenly before his very eyes he saw Flapless leap out into the great expanse with his black wings spread, and he was gone!
Was he falling or soaring? Goliath was not sure as he raced to the edge and watched, holding his breath the whole time, but not even realizing it! His wings were still outstretched! He was not falling like a rock, but he was in a downward swoop, moving so fast that it looked deadly! Where is Sky Shadow? Shouldn’t he be swooping in? Goliath was about to go into a complete panic when all of a sudden, Flapless, the bird with broken wings, started rocketing upward! He had caught a special Wind! His instincts had not failed! Sky Shadow recognized it from the very beginning and now was joining him high in the sky to fly together! It was such a beautiful sight! Goliath was so happy for his friend that he began to cry. “I’m sure glad nobody is here to see me crying,” he thought to himself. But tears filled his eyes for sure, as a black raven who had never flown, named Flapless, was soaring with the mighty eagles. Who would have ever thought it could be possible?
They stayed out there for a long time before finally returning. Flapless was so full of joy that he could hardly contain himself, and Sky Shadow was very proud of his student. Much congratulations were in order before Goliath faced his own leap of faith.
The little bird closed his eyes and turned his head as he had seen Flapless do. Then he felt two winds hit him, and he leaped! But he chose the wrong one and as he started to fall he instantly began flapping. “Drats!” he scolded himself.
“Do not fret, little one,” Sky Shadow encouraged. Flapping comes natural for you. It will be a hard habit to break, but with much dedication you will succeed.”
Goliath remounted the ledge and tried again. He flapped again.
“Three strikes and you’re out,” he thought, even though he knew Sky Shadow would have him keep trying. He remounted and stood poised to try again.
Sky Shadow offered another word of training, “Since you do not hear the voice, you will need to sense it in your gut, little one. Listen to your heart, and trust the Wind.”
Goliath suddenly leaped again and he was gone, soaring like a mighty eagle! A little wren soaring like a mighty eagle! And he was happy! Sky Shadow and Flapless could hear him shouting with glee even from where they stood.
“Lets go join him,” Sky Shadow said, and away they went together, soaring in the high places, soaring with the eagles. The whole day was spent in this way, and when they finally landed back at the citadel, their hearts overflowed with grace.
End Chapter Eleven
It was now the seventh day and Flapless could hardly believe how much his life had changed in the high places. He would never go back to his old way of living, but had chosen to live in the ways of the eagle. He did not make this choice because it was easier and the old way was very hard. Certainly not, for eagle life required many things and there was nothing easier about it. Flapless was not looking for “easy”, he was looking for purpose and passion that had true meaning. That is what he had found in the white-capped lofty mountains. He never knew he could have a living and vibrant relationship with the All-Knowing Wind, and that Wind could carry him into an incredible life with promises of eternity.
Now it was almost time to take this message of “Flap less & Soar more” to the people in the flatlands. Tomorrow morning Goliath and he would leap out upon the Wind and descend to the mission field, but today was a day of rest and focus. He had left the fortress citadel of Sky Shadow immediately after breakfast. He wanted to find a place to be alone, and so he stepped up to the edge, sifted through the currents until he heard the right one and launched. He was not sure where the Wind was taking him until he saw the huge waterfalls ahead. This was perfect! Even better than he had expected.
With his glossy black wings spread as wide as he could get them, he soared into the misty spray of the falls. The water thundered all around against the rocky cliff walls ascending upward and higher than the falls. The sound of the water roared as it searched for escape, and it filled the cavern with such a powerful presence! This would be it; his place to spend a few hours, think about his mission, praise and pray, and listen to the voice in the Wind.
He was anxious to go back to the place he had left. He left in such defeat, but now he would return in victory! Everything had come full circle. All the ridicule that had driven him away in search of better answers had now worked to his good. Instead of accepting defeat, he had gone on a great quest and the Wind had come to his rescue. Now he would tell everyone he knew, about the great kindness and wisdom of the All-Knowing Wind.
His life had become an incredible testimony that it was true, but he also knew there would be those who refuse to believe. Some of those birds are just bad to the bone. They do not want their little empire upset, because they have attained a certain position in the world of flapping. They will do anything to maintain their power, even to the hurt of others, even to the denial of a better way. However, Flapless also knew there would be those eager to learn, and he was going to start a school! What exciting things lie ahead!
He found a grassy spot on a ledge and simply listened to the thundering water for some time, before beginning to praise and pray. Many voices tried to come to him. These were evil winds carrying lies and fear, trying to deceive and destroy. There was an evil principality over the kingdom of flapping, and they did not want any Prophet speaking light into their dark kingdom. They loved tormenting people. It was known by various names, such as “The Rat Race”, “The Treadmill”, “The Daily Grind”, the mind numbing act of going through the motions of life and chasing every distraction in a feeble attempt at some real joy! But it always fell short of what it had promised, and the victim was always a little more weary and disheartened each time, until they simply gave up and accepted that everything was a big lie, and then eventually you die and it is over.
Flapless stood upon the promises of God’s Word and defeated the lies that would try to deceive him. He rebuked the evil winds in God’s holy name, and soon the voice of the All-Knowing One came, and they had fellowship.
When Flapless finally returned to Sky Shadow and Goliath that evening, he practically glowed.
“I know that look,” Sky Shadow said. “You’re ready.”
“Thank you for everything you have done for us, Sky Shadow,” Flapless said with a sense of deep gratitude. “I can never repay you for such treasures as you have given me.”
“All glory to the Father,” the great eagle said. “You two were great students. Be sure to visit often, and let me know where you settle in the high places, so I can visit you, too.”
“We will,” they promised.
And so it was as they started up the campfire for one more night, each of the birds rejoiced in the victory that was theirs, and the blessed hope that was to come. There was no lack of joy or excitement at this final meal together, for tomorrow held the promise of great things.
The sun rose the next day right on schedule, and soon the little birds were ready to descend back into the lowlands of flapping.
“So what is the first thing you intend to do?” Sky Shadow asked.
“First we will find our friend, Trinity, and see where he has made it to,” Flapless answered.
“Trinity?” the eagle questioned. “Don’t tell me you actually do know a three-legged turtle?”
“Yes! We do! Can you believe it?” Goliath popped in. “Do you know him too?”
“No, but I have heard of such a one. I thought it was just a bad joke, a three-legged turtle called Tripod, who moves at the speed of a snail. You mean to tell me the story is true?”
“It is, but he is not so slow anymore, because Goliath fixed him up with a wheel,” Flapless explained, while Goliath stood there smiling from ear to ear at the thought of it.
“Well I’ll be,” the mighty eagle said. “I would like to meet him some day.
“Did you say eat him?” Goliath asked.
“No. To ‘meet’ him,” the eagle corrected.
“Trinity is a little shy around eagles,” Flapless explained, “but we will see what we can do,” and then he stuck out his wing to shake feather-tips with Sky Shadow. They all three promised to see each other again, then Flapless bowed his head as Goliath stood by. They did not know where Trinity would be, but the Wind knew. So when Flapless suddenly leaped, Goliath leaped right behind and they were on their way.
Sky Shadow stood there watching the pair descend into the low places, on their way to fulfill God’s mission. He could see the Wind ruffling their feathers as they flew. Flapless had his wings spread wide and strong while Goliath followed his lead, trusting in his ability to hear the voice and catch the right current from God. Within seconds they were out of sight.
“Can you believe it, Goliath? We’re on our way!”
“Yes we are!” Goliath answered. “Isn’t it exciting?”
Both birds were thrilled with the sense of a great mission, and a great adventure ahead. Flapless could feel the current turning. He could feel the edge of it, and cross winds trying to cut in, but he dare not cross that edge for he had no power to flap his way back to the current from God if he lost it. He would have to land, and then spend precious time tuning back in, waiting for another wave to come along that he could ride. So he had to be very careful and when he would come too close, it was necessary that he make adjustments back towards the center of God’s will. Soaring on the edge was a fool’s game. It was too easy to accidentally slip over and find yourself in a bad wind.
Now the two birds could plainly see the ground below. A road was coming into sight. The Wind shifted with that road, and they found themselves following it.
“Trinity must be somewhere on this road,” Flapless shouted. “Keep a close eye!”
“Aye aye, Captain!” the little wren shouted just before breaking up laughing. “Get it? Aye, aye? You said keep a sharp eye? Get it? I crack myself up,” Goliath declared.
About another five minutes of soaring went by when both of them spotted a slow moving dot on the road ahead. “I think our target is coming into sight, sir!” said Goliath.
Another ten seconds and there was no doubt it was the box turtle, Trinity, moving slowly but steadily ahead. After another ten seconds they could even see the wheel connected to the back corner of his shell.
“Yup, that’s our turtle,” Flapless confirmed.
Two small dark shadows began circling over the turtle plodding along his way. At first he tried to ignore the distraction, but finally curiosity got the best of him and he decided to stop, blink one time…then twice…then three…before looking up.
“Ahoy there, Trinity!” Goliath shouted, as he was always the more vocal one, and most always beat Flapless when it came to the art of idle conversations.
Trinity began smiling from ear to ear, (if turtles have ears), when he saw who it was. “Flapless! You’re flying!” he shouted. “It is true! The Wind gave you answers in the high places! Come down! Come down, my friends! You simply must tell me everything!”
And so it was that the two birds landed gracefully back on the ground to meet up with their friend and share all the good news. Trinity quickly gave a report on how wonderful the wheel was working and how much better he felt in every way. Then they spotted a shade tree near by and decided to spend the rest of the day catching up on all the details, for there was much to talk about.
First they told him all about the great eagle called, Sky Shadow, and how he wanted to meet him some day.
“Pardon me,” Trinity interrupted, “Did you say he wanted to eat me some day?”
“No,” the pair chuckled. “He wants to ‘meet’ you!” and again they chuckled over and over about this silly assumption.
“We have been trained in the way of eagles!” Goliath finally shouted with great joy.
“Eagles?” Trinity questioned.
“That is right,” Flapless confirmed, as the conversation began to become more serious in nature.
Trinity looked at Goliath who had first said it, then he looked at Flapless who had confirmed it, but neither were now speaking, so he did what he always did when he was not sure what to do, first he blinked one time…then he blinked a second time…and then a third…before asking, “Well, what do you mean? Can a raven, or a wren live like an eagle?” Now he waited for one of them to answer the question.
“You go ahead, Flapless,” Goliath said. “You can explain it a lot better than I can.”
“It is so, Trinity,” he began. “We have been fed a big lie, a great illusion, a parallel perception that is much lesser than the reality God has for us. We have an enemy, and he is known as the great deceiver. He has tricked us into believing that the more we flap and the harder we try, then the more life will reward us, but this is a great deception, for from the very beginning God intended flapping to simply be an aid to soaring, and it is even possible to attain such a mastery as to greatly reduce all flapping! This is what the eagles know! Sky Shadow explained it this way; he said it compares to a game of chess, or the precise strike to cut a diamond.” Flapless paused to see if he understood?
Of course Trinity blinked three times, before asking, “Please explain, how so?”
Flapless then continued, “When our focus is on flapping, and we have little understanding of how to soar, then we are the person who takes five moves on the chess board to accomplish what could have been done in two. Or we are the diamond cutter who is unskilled and does not know how to make a precise strike, or a martial artist requiring ten moves to finish a fight that could have been finished in three. We are never where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be there. We show up too soon, or too late, but both are just as wrong. Do you see what I am saying?”
“God wants to teach us His Kingdom way of living,” Flapless continued, “but an enemy has pulled a false reality over our eyes, and we become the prisoners of what we see, hear, and touch. To soar upon an invisible Wind requires letting go of your faith in what you see, hear, and touch. There are higher laws, and a higher way of living. But all those caught up in a flapping lifestyle are caught in a bondage that will never satisfy, and eventually they burn out.”
“Burn out?” the turtle repeated. “This is so sad,” he said. “I was almost there. I was almost burned out. I’ve had so many bad things happen, but I’ve always kept pressing on, believing I would find a better place someday. When I lost the leg, I just kept pressing on, even harder than before, believing I could still find such a place. Then the wolves carried me way off course, and they laughed at me, not even caring how easy it was for them to cover many miles in a single day, but how hard it was for me. Then the eagle dropped me in the mountains of all places. I did not expect to ever reach my goal, but then you guys helped me. I was very near to burnout, ready to just give up, but then you said you was here to help, and Goliath made me this wheel. You said the Wind claimed to be All-Knowing, and it was he who had sent you to help me. I began to have hope again, and even joy. It’s all beginning to make sense now, a great deception causing us to miss the real reason we are all here, to learn of Him, and learn His ways.”
“Wow,” Goliath said as he looked at Flapless and added, “I think he’s got it!”
Flapless smiled, a spark flashed in his dark eyes and he very carefully said, “The war is on,” Darkness was settling in even as they spoke. It was decided to camp under the tree and continue their conversation into the night. And so they did.
End Chapter Twelve
Last night had been a time of sharing all the teaching of a flap-less and soar-more lifestyle to Trinity. Now the new day was dawning, the time of reuniting was over, and Trinity wanted to know what the future held, “So what happens now, Flapless? Where are you headed and what do you plan to do?”
“I’m going home,” he said. “There are people there who need to know the truth. Goliath has agreed to go with me, and we hope to start a school. There is a godly way of flying, but few people are learning it, because we have so few teachers hearing the voice in the Wind and we have lost our way.”
“Hhmmm,” Trinity said, and then blinked three times before asking, “And where is home? Is it far from here?”
“It is not so far. It is the town of, ‘Imasomebody’,” Flapless said. “As a matter-of-fact, you’re half way there.”
“Imasomeboy,” Trinity repeated. “I know that town,” he said. “I was laughed at in that town many years ago.”
“Yes,” said Flapless, “You don’t want to be a ‘nobody’, in the town of ‘Imasomebody’. That is why everyone flaps so hard to be successful according to the definition of success as written in the by-laws of the town. God’s definition of success compared to theirs, are two very different things. The school Goliath and I intend to start will teach God’s perspective. All will be invited to our school, even people! Many of them are heavily invested in the worldly system they have created, and they will fight us. It will likely get very ugly. They do not want to ‘unplug’ from their false reality. It will be a ‘Truth Storm’. Light invading darkness, and the darkness rebelling against the truth. We are looking for some good Storm Troopers. Would you like to join us in our mission?”
“Oh I would I would!” the little turtle declared. “If you say I’m half way there, then I should make it in about seven days!”
“Agreed!” Flapless confirmed.
“Yaa!” Goliath rejoiced. “We are a trio now! The Three Amigos! The Three Stooges! The Three Musketeers! The Three…? The Three ‘Flap-no-mores’! What are we going to call ourselves anyway?” Goliath asked, a little breathless and confused.
“Nobody,” Flapless said. “We’re going to the town of Imasomebody, and we’re not worried about being anybody else but ourselves. Got it?”
“Roger that!” the little wren snapped to attention and declared. “Look out town of Imasomebody, because the ‘Three Nobodies’ are headed your way, and you better be scared!”
“Lord please help us,” Flapless prayed under his breath.
Now Flapless had yet to attempt a take-off from the flat ground, and he was a little worried. It was one thing to be in the high places and leap out upon a well-defined current of Wind, but quite another to stir one up from ground level. So he reminded himself, “Now what did Sky Shadow tell me to remember? The mountains are just a symbol, a physical parallel to a spiritual truth. We can be in the high places anytime we want, even if our feet are flat on the ground. The high places are within us, in our soul and in our spirit. Begin to worship, praise, and pray. Always practice the three P’s of Praise, Prayer, and Promises. The Wind will come, and lift you up. Okay, Sky Shadow, it is time for me to test what you said.”
Goliath and Trinity were watching the black raven pacing back and forth just a little ways off from them where he had some privacy. He had explained to them what he needed to do, but this was untested, and therefore he was not sure of his ability to do it. He asked for them to be in prayer, but so far they were so caught up in the drama of it all that very little praying had been done.
“What do you think, Trinity? Can a bird with broken wings take off from the flat ground?”
“It should not be so,” the turtle sighed. “I have never heard of such a thing ever being done. Of course, if he fails, then it will be pretty impossible to preach his message in the town.”
“Right you are,” Goliath agreed and then remembered, “Maybe we should pray like he asked us to.”
Flapless was already praying. He was in a world of his own creating and did not even know what Goliath and Trinity were doing. He was progressing steadily through deeper and deeper chambers of Spirit, into the Holy of Holies. His worship had turned to prayer, and now his prayer was turning to promises, “They that wait upon the Lord,” he declared, “shall mount up with the wings of the eagle,” he could feel something building, but he was no longer working at it, because his spirit was so caught up in the power of God’s presence that it was a river he had no desire to shut off, free-flowing, no longer an effort to stir up, it was here and growing!
“They shall run and not grow weary,” he continued, “they shall walk and not faint!” A supernatural lifestyle he reminded himself. And before the Wind even hit, his wings shot out to his sides just as the Wind arrived and he was instantly lifted, shooting like a rocket straight up into the air!
“Wow! Did you see that?” Goliath shouted. But Trinity could not answer, for he was totally speechless and reduced to blinking innumerous times, as he watched the little raven shooting higher into the sky, and clear out of sight!
Goliath was just the opposite. He was running around like a chicken with his head cut off and his mouth talking non-stop! He was a jabberjay! He was beside himself and only a slow moving turtle to share the moment with.
“I need a rabbit!” he shouted.
“What?” Trinity asked surprised. “I did not think wrens ate anything but worms?”
“No!” Goliath yelled. “I need a rabbit to talk to! Someone who can conversate at the speed of light, before I blow a gasket!”
However, Flapless was not gone long when he was spotted coming back through the clouds on his way to join Goliath. “C’mon Goliath!” he shouted. “We’ll see you when you get to town, Trinity!”
Goliath flapped his wings and instantly lifted off to join his mentor in the sky. It was true that flapping was a lot less time consuming for leaping into your day, but soaring had other benefits that more than made up for the investment required to maintain a place in the high places.
An hour of soaring was all that was required for the town of Imasomebody to begin appearing on the horizon. Flapless was coming home, and he was coming riding upon a sacred Wind. He was coming to his own, and he already knew most of his own would not be happy with his apparent “success”. To make it worse, not only had he gone on a great quest in search of answers, not only had all the scoffers claimed he must be cat food by now, not only was he returning alive and with answers, but he was not flapping! How could a bird with broken wings be flying? How could a bird fly in the lowlands without flapping? What strange thing could this be?
Now the town had lookouts posted at the four corners of the city, and as they spotted a black dot flying straight at them, they sent out a general alert, because no one was supposed to be in that sector at this time. Was a visitor coming to town? The little wren could not even be seen yet.
A fifth tower, known as the Gate Tower, caught the alert and quickly grabbed the binoculars to check the approaching unidentified object. The Gate Tower was the first to see the smaller bird with the black bird. They were also the first to see that neither bird was flapping! The alarm was immediately upgraded from a general alert to an “All-Hands-On-Deck” alarm of the highest order! Until now it was only eagles that ever swooped over them in such a manner, so what could this possibly be? Such a strange sight indeed, eagles disguised as some other birds? Nothing in their training had prepared them for such a thing as this!
Flapless and Goliath was almost at the city walls when squadrons of ravens lifted off and entered the sky to intercept them. Flapless knew the military leader as a very hard bird known as, General Deathlock! He only knew him by reputation, for he never would have lowered himself to even be aware of the Flapless who left town, a broken and defeated bird too ashamed to stay anymore, or at least that is what he would have been told. But now here he came, full-speed ahead, backed by trained forces to intercept any threat and deal with it!
Flapless began to circle, and Goliath followed his lead. “I’ll do the talking,” he said. They were surrounded by what seemed like a thousand shinny black flapping wings in no time at all, but Flapless just kept circling, waiting for a spokesman to appear, and it turned out to be General Deathlock himself!
“Identify yourself, stranger, before I order you blown out of the sky!” the General commanded.
“My name is Flapless!” he shouted, “and this is my friend, Goliath!”
“Flapless?” he heard his name being repeated over and over again through the ranks; his name was spreading like wildfire, for if there is one advantage to being the joke of the town, it is that a lot of people know who you are.
“It cannot be,” some were saying. “He’s supposed to be dead! Is he still flapless? How can he not be flapping his wings? Flapless could not flap his wings, but how is this bird flying?” The tension was building rapidly, even before the General could bark his next order.
“You will come with us!” he demanded.
“I will not,” Flapless calmly answered, “for this is my home, and I have broken no laws. I am free-born! I am not enslaved to your flapping ways,” he challenged.
“Why you insolent stupid bird! How dare you insult the way of this city! For that alone I could have you arrested and put to trial! Every bird here could testify against you!”
“What law have I broken, General? Have the laws been changed since I left? Have you actually made it against the law not to flap?”
Flapless could see the temperature of the General rapidly rising, for it seemed the Wind was giving him wisdom in all of his answers, and he was even shocked by his own boldness under such obvious pressure and danger. Even now Goliath was checking for emergency exit signs just in case this whole thing blew up, which it was about to do!
“Seize them!” General Deathlock suddenly shouted, and a thousand black wings began to dart in, each having shackles in their talons, ready to bind!
So far Flapless had simply been declaring whatever he heard in his heart from the Wind, so he had no real plan for what was about to happen next. However, the All-Knowing Wind did, and it was time to upset some well-established lies of the enemy.
Suddenly, the air current Flapless had been riding shot upward at a speed impossible for any flapping creature! The strongest and fastest of the General’s trained soldiers gave pursuit, and for a few seconds managed to stay close, but as strength quickly left them from the great effort, they fell embarrassingly behind. But they had to keep going. They had to keep trying, because the only alternative was to return in failure to General Deathlock, and no bird wanted to do that! So their struggle continued as they fought to climb higher! How was the bird doing this? Even the wren had fallen behind and occasionally flapping, but this raven with the broken wings, how was this possible? How was a raven soaring where only eagles go?
Nobody was laughing now, not even Flapless, because this was serious business. He was not here for vindication, revenge, or to seek his own glory, but word needed to get out that a new way of living had come to town, and there was no way the media was going to put a lid on this! Even if the soldiers could all be silenced, which they could not, but even if so, too many eyes on the ground were watching this incredible drama playing out. Too many ears had heard the name Flapless being repeated in disbelief. The genie was out of the bottle, the truth displayed for all to see! But that did not mean everyone would want to stop flapping and change their ways. No sir, Flapless knew the Truth Storm had just begun.
He would fly away for now, and wait for them to come to him in the desert. The General was already looking foolish enough. He would be very careful to pick his battles now. There would be those among the common people, the nobodies, who would want to know more, and they would come, and the light would grow.
Flapless had kept an eye on Goliath, fearing they would capture him in hopes of forcing a surrender to save his friend. He was prepared to swoop down for a rescue if need be, but Goliath had just barely gotten high enough, quickly enough, to make a narrow escape. Now a glossy black raven and a little wren were quietly soaring over the city, like eagles, making sure that one and all beheld the sight, as they disappeared into the wilderness to the north of, Imasomebody.
End Chapter Thirteen
“No fire tonight, Goliath,” Flapless said. “We got to let things settle down a bit. We announced our arrival, and now we let nature take its course. They will not be able to stop the people from talking about what they have seen. I guess all those years of being the joke of the town was actually working to my advantage, and I did not even know. People know the name, Flapless, but we are here to teach them the message of, Flap-Less! So you can Soar-More.”
Then Goliath said, “Boy, I’ll say we announced our arrival alright. I thought those boys had me for sure! I was plenty worried there for a minute, but Sky Shadow’s training paid off, and I’m happy to say I am still here with you.”
“And I’m happy that you are, too, Goliath. I’m the one they really want. I want you to play a more ‘undercover’ part from this point on. People saw you, and they will listen if I send you in secret to certain ones. They know you are with me.”
“In secret?” Goliath asked with excitement. “You mean like a secret agent?”
“Exactly, my friend, exactly.”
“Cool!” Goliath almost shouted. “For once my size can be an advantage! Ninja Wren! That will be my code name, okay?”
“You got it, little buddy. Ready to get some sleep?”
“I sure am,” the little wren answered.
“Then I’ll take first watch. Two hour watch on first shift; then we will do three hours. See you in two. Good night.”
“Good night. See you in two,” and Goliath closed his eyes.
Flapless climbed up to a higher position on a rock. He surveyed the environment around them. It was basic wilderness, with heavy vegetation in some areas, desert places in others, high grounds and low grounds. This spot was just inside some vegetation, with a view of some open desert before them. The desert lay towards the city. Some would come seeking, and they would make an effort to connect with those who came. The school would be in the wilderness until such a day that the movement grew so huge they would not be able to contain it.
Flapless had no trouble passing the time while his mind pondered how he would like to teach this “Flap-Less & Soar-More” lifestyle. He saw a building, very plain and simple, but efficient. There was a board in the room to write on, just like in a school, for this was a school, a school of higher learning for higher ways. What would he write on that board for the seekers to read?
“Flap-Less & Soar-More”
Isaiah 40:31 / John 3:8
Practice the 3-P’s!
Praise – Prayer – Promises!
Spiritual Equation in God’s Kingdom
Praise + Prayer + Promises = Power/Peace.
The 5-P’s of Higher Living
Why flap when you can soar?
Why fight an All-Knowing Wind?
His thoughts departed from the board but continued thinking. He starred into the darkness of the night, searching for any approaching enemies, but the real enemy could not be seen with the human eye, or even a bird’s eye. The world system is our enemy. The people we are here to help are mentally hooked on that system. Many of them are not ready to leave what is familiar, for that which is uncertain. They have much invested into this system, and will not give up their life of ease and pleasure for a life of ultimate good, embracing their Creator. They are hopelessly dependent on the system, birds in cages, unable to think free, too scared of the personal responsibility that goes with freedom. They will cling to their false perception of reality.
This system has Gate Keepers. These Gate Keepers can manifest and move through anyone still connected to the world system. I will always remember who the real enemy is. They are spiritual wickedness set in high places, principalities, and rulers of darkness. But their strength and power is still set in a world of rules that God has established! In Christ we have been lifted to higher places, if only we can believe it. All things are possible for those who believe.
There will always be those who live out their lives oblivious to reality, ignoring God’s truth, straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. They will not believe a perfectly painted picture could ever result from the explosion of a paint factory, and yet they believe all of creation is the result of a complete accident that sparked an explosion out of total nothingness? They strain to swallow a gnat, but easily swallow a camel.
These are the ones I am called to go to. These are the ones we are called to love, and risk our life for. I will do that by remembering who the enemy really is, and by remembering who God really is. There is no greater calling than to lay down this life for the one to come. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.
He could see some of the lights of the city in the distance, the city of Imasomebody, where flapping is glorified and God is ignored. “I bring this storm to your gates, General Deathlock. A Truth Storm that once unlocked cannot be stopped. This day we unlocked that box.”
Suddenly the Wind swept through lifting Flapless into the dark sky where a raven is very hard to spy. He swept around the land, he checked the desert sand, but no sign of an enemy was found. Deathlock would be scheming. He would choose his next move well, but a raven soaring in the night would be watching, like a watchman in a tower. Let the Ram’s horn blow, let all the world know, Jesus will come for his own. From the high places they are called, for his people hear his voice, and they soar.