“THE ENCOUNTER” / CHAPTER ONE
Dan slowly rose from his bed and rushed into his day like anyone would. Getting out of bed was hard, but once up, his pace rapidly accelerated. He loved living, and the challenge of it. Depression had never been one of his weaknesses. He could think of maybe two times in his thirty-eight years when he had a real battle with depression, and even those were nothing compared to what some people seem to wrestle with.
He was a warrior at heart. He lived like a man on a mission, and that was how he liked it. His wife, Cathy, appreciated how hard he worked to provide for their family, and it was her part to ensure a smooth morning routine, so he could get dressed, eat a hearty breakfast, and be out the door right on time ready to tackle the world. They worked as a team. His successful career as a sales rep for a large company had provided them a very good life. They both realized how good they had it, and liked it that way.
Sales had always come natural for Dan. He was what they called “a people person”. He was the life of any party, loved to tell jokes, a born extravert, had the gift of gab and knew how to make people feel good. However, choosing that path had not come easy for him. As a younger man when he was just setting out to make his way in the world, he did not think he could be a salesman and a Christian at the same time. Even though he loved sales, it bothered him that he might have to “stretch truth”, wine and dine, laugh at dirty jokes, “be-one-of-the-boys”, in order to be successful.
Eventually his natural talents and convictions led him to working for a large company that sold pipe and plumbing to contractors. They sold everything from huge ductile pipe, sewer pipe, fire hydrants, very large gate valves, and all the way down to the tiniest pvc threaded fittings, but he was not a sales rep. He sat at a desk and merely worked with the customers when they called in. He took their orders, sold what he could, but they had come to him, he had not gone hunting them, and that was an important difference in Dan’s mind.
Maybe they did not have the very best product out there, but that was not his problem because they had come to him of their own accord. He had not hunted them down, invaded their day, convinced them that he had the very best product and deal, and sold it. He was pretty happy with his status, except it was a bit boring, and they still struggled to pay the bills of a growing family, but at least his conscience was clean, and he slept good at nights.
Then one day something special happened, a golden opportunity that seemed too good to be true! His company carried a certain drainage tile from another company called, Farm Co. Farm Co had a regular sales rep who visited them every month making sure they were happy with the product, and also to take more orders. Dan could still remember it like yesterday. Of course he had made friends with Jim, the sales rep, that was just Dan’s nature. They had hit it off and he always looked forward to the visits. There was no warning signal that special day, to alert him things were different when he saw Jim pull up in front, climb out of his truck and walk in, but it was. Jim was there to get Dan!
Jim had recognized Dan’s natural sales ability, and his company had an opening for a good man. Dan already had lots of contacts and knew the product. Jim was sure he would excel as a Farm Co rep, and he was here to close the deal. Jim was hunting Dan!
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> (This ends the first chapter of a short story called, “The Encounter”. Hope you enjoy.)
When Dan left his home that morning, he had a secret, but he did not want to worry his wife. This had been an inner conflict, and concern, for many months now. He was still on his way to work as he pondered, thinking back ten years, when Jim recruited him that day. He only agreed for one reason, and he still remembered the conversation as he replayed it in his head. Jim had asked him to go out for a private talk, a little coffee shop just up the road. It was close to his lunch break, so they went.
Setting there with coffee and a grilled cheese before him, Jim began sharing about the opportunity at Farm Co, and that he was perfect for the job. Dan let him talk for a while before deciding to explain the reason he could never be a salesman.
“Jim,” Dan said, “there is one main thing that has kept me from ever going into a full-blown sales career.” Dan left this statement hanging in the air, pausing, and staring into Jims eyes. He wanted to make sure he understood where he was coming from.
“Well, what is it?” Jim finally asked.
“I’m a Christian, and I simply cannot lie to people about a product. If it is not the very best, then I can’t tell them so. And I can’t be one-of-the-boys. I’m not ‘one-of-the-boys’. I don’t like dirty jokes, and I don’t go to bars. I can’t wine and dine the way companies like to do to win their customers. I know I have the gift, but I just can’t live that lifestyle. How could I compete against salesmen willing to do those things? I’ve always appreciated you, Jim, because you’re an honest guy and Farm Co has a really good product, but you wouldn’t believe the offers my boss gets from other companies. They come in bragging about their service and product, they take him out to Hooters or wherever he wants to go. We end up buying some of their stuff and it’s second rate at best! But the boss keeps it around because he likes the benefits. I couldn’t be one of those guys, Jim. I won’t be one of those guys.”
Dan noticed Jim take a real long drink of his coffee before he sat it down. He had a big smile on his face when he finally responded, “Dan, that is exactly why you are perfect for this job. As you know, we do have the best product going at a fair price. Quality and fairness are priorities one and two with us, because we have Christian men at the head of this company. If there is any wine and dining that needs to be done, we have people that can do that. Dan, you won’t have to lie for our company, and this would be the place you could finally spread your wings and soar.”
The rest was history. Jim talked him into it that day and he absolutely loved it! And he did excel, rising to be one of the top salesmen in a very short time. His regular pay plus commissions proved to be more money than he ever thought he would make, and Cathy was elated. They bought a new house the second year. Then he bought her a luxury minivan just like she always wanted. He had a company truck and didn’t need a vehicle. Life was good! He sold the heck out of those drainage products, because they were the best, and he could sell it with all his heart, and still sleep good at night. Unfortunately, that was no longer true, and therein lie his secret, his conflict, and his problem.
It was a beautiful fall day as he drove down the road. He couldn’t believe he felt so heavy on such a gorgeous day, but he did. It was hard to even appreciate, when you have such dark clouds hanging in your head. He did not understand why the factories had lowered the quality of their product, but they had and there was nothing he could do about it. He used to be able to stand on a corrugated drainage pipe and it would not crush, but this was no longer true, and it wasn’t the weight he had gained, either. He knew the truth, but the conflict was that he liked his level of lifestyle. He simply did not see how they could ever go back to anything less? How would they pay for college for the kids? How could they possibly survive on anything less? Cathy and he were now accustom to the finer things of life. He just couldn’t see any way out, so he told himself to be the good soldier and just keep pressing on. Run harder, do more, make more money until you’re able to leave one day.
As Dan approached the company office he found himself driving right on by. His first sales-call was a contractor in Wheaton, Illinois, about an hour’s drive away. He had everything he needed in the truck, and driving felt good. He kept the wheels of the black four-wheel drive rolling down the road, right along with the thoughts rolling in his head. “What am I going to do?” he asked himself. His sales had already been dropping because he simply would not pitch it as the best pipe out there, anymore. The contractors were discovering the truth, too, and he now dreaded every sales-call.
“What am I supposed to do, Lord? Am I suppose to just quit, and not support my family?” He couldn’t believe he was actually arguing with God. “No one will understand. It will be a horrible testimony, but do I make a living lying? If I don’t get my sales back up, I may not have to quit. Where are you when I need you, Lord?”
Dan used to talk with God a lot while in the truck, but over the years the conversations had become less and less. Prayer had become less too, and he felt a little guilty about asking God where he was when needed. “What’s happened to us, Lord? I just don’t get it anymore.”
Living like a man on a mission kept you busy, and depending on what your mission was…well…? Okay, it was hard to pray and find time to do all the things a Christian is supposed to do. He didn’t want to admit it, but his priorities had been upside down for the past three years, and he had just gotten busier and busier, being successful. He loved being a testimony of the “goodness” of God. Occasionally he was able to help people, when they got in a financial fix, and just needed a hand up. This was his way of witnessing, showing the goodness and prosperity of God, after all, wasn’t that what a Christian was supposed to be? Wasn’t Abraham very wealthy and successful?
Isn’t that what a Christian is supposed to be? The question lingered in his mind. “But what about all the other stuff?” he asked himself. “What about the spiritual side, the invisible things, not the material things we see and touch. When was the last time I actually felt led by an unseen voice to walk in something that was just spiritual, self-sacrificing, based on a kingdom in heaven, and not down here? What about all those things? When do I have time for all those things? When was the last time I spent a day seeking God to find out if I’m even doing what he wants me doing?”
“What the heck?” Dan yelled as he ducked and swerved the wheel! Fortunately, he quickly regained control, pulled off the side and sat there catching his breath. It was so sudden! Something big and black hit the windshield right in front of him. He had reacted as if he were about to be hit, which almost caused him to wreck before he realized what was actually happening. Some big and black bird had smacked his windshield, and now he could see it in his side mirror. It was flopping around still on the road. It could be simply dazed and needing a chance to recover.
Something about that bird called to him, and before he knew it, he popped open his door and began running up the road.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> (End Chapter two. Hope you enjoyed.)
“Why am I saving a black bird?” According to the GPS it should be just up here on the right, and I don’t want to miss it. I can still hear the bird flopping around in the box. I should have just moved him out of the road, sat him in the nearby cornfield and said, “Good luck, little fellow.” But something wouldn’t let me. I felt bad for hitting the bird and I didn’t know why? I mean, it’s not like this was the first one I ever hit. And yet something compelled me to grab the box out of the truck, carefully place him inside, close the flaps and interlock them, and then do an internet search for a bird doctor?
Much to my surprise there was one close by, and that sealed the deal for me. I mean, what were the odds? It was a sign. That’s how I took it anyway, and now I was about two miles away, almost there. I just had to find this last road, and there it was. I make the right hand turn, go one half mile and pull into the small parking lot with the sign saying, “Parker the Bird Doctor”. “Cute, hear that, Blackie? Hang in there, you’re about to see Parker the Bird Doctor. Nothing but the best for you, pal.”
I had called ahead just to verify this was for real, and sure enough, an older sounding lady with a sweet voice said to bring the bird right in. It was even free! She worked on a donation basis, and many people supported her. She loved birds and this is what she did for them. So my plan was to just drop Blackie off and be on my way. Nice and simple. But I found myself hanging around, worried about the bird and its chances of recovery. “Why am I doing this?” I ask for like the fourth time.
I’m about to walk out the door and be on my way when, “Dan?” I hear Mrs. Parker, the bird lady, call my name.
“Yes, mam,” I answer, “Is he going to make it?”
“Well, he’s had quite a hit. He was in shock when you got him here. So I gave him some medicine to relax him. He is not feeling much of anything at the moment. I was able to examine him for internal injuries, broken bones, that kind of thing. I’m pretty sure he has wing damage. I’ve seen this many times before. He has about a fifty-fifty chance of ever flying again. Right now all that flapping around is just doing more damage. He needs time to heal. We will set any broken bones, and then wrap him in a way that prevents any moving of his wings. No flapping allowed for the next couple months. Once he has had time to heal, we will remove the wrapping and give him a chance to fly. If all goes well he will be a free bird again.”
“After a couple of months of no flapping, right doctor?” I said in jest, trying to add a little humor.
“That’s right,” she agreed, “Just a couple of months of no flapping. If only we could learn to do that,” she added.
“Yeah, good point.” I agreed, even though I wasn’t sure what she meant? So I thanked her and dropped a twenty in the box on my way out the door. I had missed my first appointment, but could still make the second one if I hurried. I looked back in my mirror just in time to see Mrs. Parker standing at her door giving me a dirty look as I flew out of the parking lot, engine roaring. I glanced down at my speedometer and was embarrassed. “Oops, that was not very nice of me.” I let my foot off the gas and told myself to get a grip. The world is not going to end if I fail to sell pipe today.
“Honey, I don’t know what came over me?”
Dan was in the process of trying to explain to his wife, Cathy, about the encounter he had with the black bird. The only problem was, he didn’t understand it either, and that was what he wanted her to understand, that he was confused about how this meaningless incident had affected him.
“It was like a spiritual encounter, or something,” he struggled on, searching for words to explain.
Cathy could tell something was bothering him, so she wanted to get to the bottom of this, but how could a bird hitting your windshield be a spiritual encounter? Men are not good at sharing their feelings, so that was only making matters worse as Dan kept trying to explain.
“So there I was,” he said. “I’m just driving down the road on the way to my first meeting and I hit a black bird. So what? Why didn’t I just keep on driving? The next thing I know, I’m running up the road to save this bird!”
“That’s good, honey,” Cathy ventured, “you had compassion on the poor suffering creature. That’s a good thing.”
“That’s not normal, dear. Not for me. I missed a sales call over a black bird!”
“Well, you can make it up, right?”
“Of course I can, but I want to know what really happened?”
“What do you mean?” she questioned, beginning to get more interested. Was her husband having an early midlife crises?
“Well? Even if I did feel sorry for the bird, and I rescued it from the road, but then a bird doctor just happens to be nearby? And some of the things she said about Blackie.”
“Blackie?” she asked, “Who’s Blackie?”
“Oh, that’s what I named the bird.”
“You named the bird? In such a short time, you named the bird? Do you really feel like you both knew each other that well in so little time?” Cathy couldn’t help it, she was about to crack up, she just had to take advantage of such a golden opportunity.
“I know. You can make fun all you want, but that is exactly what I mean. I can’t believe I named the bird, either! And when Mrs. Parker the bird doctor spoke to…”
Cathy totally lost it right there. “I’m sorry…ha ha ha…I can’t take it…ha ha… Parker the bird doctor! HA ha ha ha…you’re killing me! This just keeps getting better! Is this for real, or or are you making all this up? Haaaa ha heheheee…I’m gonna cry! Oh my belly hurts.”
For the next five minutes they both sat there in the living room laughing over and over. When one of the kids happened to pass through they just looked at them like what is wrong with mom and dad, and that caused them to laugh even more. And then mom would ask them if they have heard about Blackie the bird and Mrs. Parker the bird doctor, and they laughed even more as the children slowly walked away shaking their heads.
Ten minutes later, normal conversation had finally resumed. “Cathy, I’m telling you, when ‘the vet’ told me what was going on with the bird, I felt like she was diagnosing me!”
“What?’ she responded, very intrigued.
“Yes. When she said the bird had damage to its wings, and all his flapping was going to keep him from healing, and so he would be restricted from flapping for a couple of months, and then he had a fifty-fifty chance of flying again. For a bird, freedom and survival depends on their ability to fly. I still see Blackie in my mirror, after he was hit. He didn’t know what else to do, so he just kept flapping, even though it was only doing more damage. There he was, still on the road…flapping. And I felt like that was me. I jumped out of the truck, and I ran to his rescue.” Dan paused for a moment before saying, “I think I see it now, but I don’t know what to do?”
Cathy moved over closer to her husband and said, “I don’t know either, but whatever it is, we will get through this together. We will figure this out.”
“Listen here Dan, you stand on that pipe and tell me that’s the same pipe I used to get from you!” John almost yelled. He had a right to be upset. John was a private contractor and an entire line had collapsed beneath a parking lot. A large section was going to need to be dug up and repaved. Farm Co. would share in the loss if it was proven to be faulty pipe, if not, then John was going to be taking a large loss.
“I can’t do that, John. I haven’t been able to stand on our pipe for at least a year now. Our company will have a man out to inspect everything, and we’ll go from there.”
“Dan,” John continued, “It hurts me to have to say this. I like you a lot, and I hope you still come by from time to time, but Farm Co. is not what it used to be. They still expect top dollar from products offering less quality. I’m afraid I won’t be doing business with you guys anymore. And your company better make good on this mess!”
“I hear ya, John. I understand.”
When Dan climbed back in his truck and drove away, the first thing he did was call the company. “Look boss, you got a serious situation here. You’re going to have to send an inspector out. And by the way, it’s Friday and I’m canceling my other meetings. I just took a good butt chewing, and right now I couldn’t sell fire in Alaska. I’m going to need the weekend to get my head together.” The boss knew when not to argue, and Dan was headed home.
Once again he found himself rolling down a black top road…trapped on the road…feeling like he was flapping, flapping, flapping…and no one running to his rescue. He considered John a friend, he had sold him the pipe, and now John was hurt because of him.
“I wish I were an eagle,” he said to himself, thoughts flowing as he drove. He turned the reins loose on his mind to let his thoughts go wherever they would. “I wish I were an eagle, they do less flapping, and more soaring. I could just fly away from all of this. Yeah, soaring…that sounds so good.” He had not been able to get the vision of the flapping black bird out of his head. For days now, every time he looked in his driver’s side mirror, he saw Blackie helplessly flapping on the road.
Dan remembered he had a book at home that was given him by Cathy’s dad. He never read it, but it was some preacher teaching about a supernatural lifestyle. Supposedly, the eagle was a biblical metaphor for what this preacher taught. Cathy’s dad, Don, liked the book so much that he bought a copy for him. That was two years ago, and it still sat on a shelf untouched. Dan liked being a Christian, but he didn’t want to be spooky about it. He had seen Christians like that. He didn’t want to be considered weird. Of course, Jesus certainly was in a category all his own. But that was Jesus.
“I’ve got two days to get my head together,” he considers, “but what shall be the shape of things to come? You can’t keep doing the same old things and expect different results. I’ve got to try something new, and I have no idea what that should be. What does Don mean by, supernatural? Cathy’s dad has always been religious, but he comes across as very sensible. Nothing spooky about him. Could there be another way of living? I thought that super stuff all ended with the Apostles? Or maybe the supernatural does not always mean raising the dead?” Dan knew right then he was finally ready to read the book. Could he find answers there?
He would give it a try, but he wasn’t going to get his hopes up, after all, he wasn’t a bird.
When Dan walked in his front door, his wife was surprised. “What are you doing home already?” He explained to her what had happened.
As he was ending his sad tale, “I’m surprised it hadn’t happened before now,” he said. “I’ve had some small incidences, but this is major. It’s the first major one in my territory, but it won’t be the last, and word will spread fast.”
“So what’s your plan?” Cathy asked.
“Ha! That’s a good question. What plan? I got nothing. I feel trapped, Honey. And by the very thing I never wanted, to feel like I make my living by lying. I don’t know another company out there that would offer the type of deal Farm Co. did. When Jim recruited me they knew I would not be a part of the wine and dine sales tactics. They accepted me that way and made provisions for it, but Cathy, look what has happened. So I’m not ready to go looking for another sales job yet. There is more going on here than just a career crises, and I’ve got to figure it out. Which leads me to the only plan I have, and it’s not much.”
Cathy waited for more, but Dan was just standing there with a cocky grin on his face. He was waiting for her to ask. She finally gave in, “Well, what is it?”
“You’re going to laugh,” he said.
She wasn’t asking again, but she did give him “the look”.
“Okay, do you remember the book your dad bought me a couple of years ago?”
“I do remember a book, because he bragged about it so much and said it changed his life. Come to think of it, he has been different ever since, but I’m not sure what to think of the ‘difference’. If you know what I mean?”
“Yes. It all happened when he had the back surgery and lost his job. I remember now. He spent time in the book while he was recovering, and we all wondered what he was going to do? He couldn’t drive a truck anymore, and he had no other skills. Most people would have been worried out of their minds, but he said God had it covered. And looking back, it seems he did.”
“If that’s what you call it,” Cathy qualified. “He could make more money as a Security Officer, and he has the background for it, but he said God had given him a ‘target’. Yes, I remember it to this day. And he started riding a Metro bus downtown, got a nine-dollar an hour job in the mall, and he calls it his ‘ministry’. Sounds pretty crazy if you ask me.”
“Are their bills all paid?” Dan asked.
“Yes, but I don’t know how?”
“Does your mom seem happy?”
“Have you ever seen your dad happier, or more at peace? And look how many people he has led to Christ in the downtown area. He told me that he gave up driving a truck to become a ‘hunter’. Said he always liked hunting anyway, but hunting for God was the greatest! He also talked about living like an eagle.”
“Yes! I remember now,” Cathy said. “I know right where the book is.”
“Well, dear, that’s my plan. I’m home early and I have the better part of three days to spend with that book. Now don’t get worried, because I don’t expect to become a Metro bus rider, or a mall employee. I understand that God has a different plan for everyone, but I need to learn ‘how to know that plan’. And I got a feeling the eagle is just the bird that can explain it to me. Know what I mean?”
Dan saw a light flash in Cathy’s eyes, and a smile come on her face, as she said, “You just hang on there, Lover Boy, I know exactly where it is.” Up the stairs she went, and one minute later she was handing him the book. It felt good in his hands, but he had a lot of doubts. These are long odds at best, he thought, as he faced it towards him and read the title, “Flap Less / Soar More”. With a subtitle of, “Living in the High Places with God”.
“Flap Less,” he repeated. “Sounds perfect. I sure am tired of flapping. I’m a little envious of Blackie. I wish someone would wrap my wings and stop me from flapping for a while. Which reminds me, I want to call Mrs. Parker the Bird Doctor tomorrow, and get a date for when they hope to release Blackie. I want to be there. Maybe we can make a family outing of it, with the kids.”
“That sounds good, Dear. We should definitely do that. The kids will love it.” Cathy confirmed.
“Oh, and one more thing, Honey. Don’t tell your dad I’m reading his book. I don’t want him getting his hopes up. Just in case this doesn’t work for me.”
“Smart move. My lips are sealed,” she agreed.
Cathy was on her way out to do grocery shopping when Dan surprised her by coming home early. Now the house was quiet, he was the only one home. His thermos still had hot coffee, so he grabbed a couple of granola bars, his thermos, and headed for the den. For the next three days this was going to be his Bat Cave, so to speak, total dedication to a cause, his cause, to learn how to hear God. “How do you learn such a thing?” he questioned.
Prophets did it, but not him. His father-in-law did this kind of thing, but not him. There before him was his desk, complete with computer, Internet, printer, a desk lamp, pens and paper. He sits down his thermos and snacks, studying the situation. “What else might I need?” The book, “Flap Less / Soar More”, was under his arm. He lays it on the desk and looks at the cover. Of course, it was a beautiful picture of an eagle soaring. No bird soars like the eagle, and no bird catches the imagination, like the eagle. Could God really be showing us something? Cathy’s dad, Don, was convinced of it.
“My Bible,” he realized. He might need his Bible, the book he carried to Church on Sundays. Grabbing it from the bookcase, he lays it on the desk with the coffee, snacks, and all the rest. “Okay, I think I’m ready.” His room had one window letting in light, and providing a view of the backyard, but he turned the desk lamp on anyway. He wanted to be wide awake as he studied. Light and coffee was his plan, but not only man-made light, he was seeking God’s light, as in enlightenment, but the coffee was what it was, he thought with a chuckle, and then he prayed.
“Okay, Lord, I’m here. I’m one lost bird right now, and I need your help. I promise to study hard. If these two books can help me, if you have a way of living that’s better than I have understood, then I want to know. I promise I will carefully consider everything you reveal, and if I find this to be true, then I will learn this new way, so that I might serve you better. Amen.”
He’s wide awake at the moment, so deciding to save the coffee, he opens to the first page of the book. Finding his way to a prologue, he reads, “As a Christian, a reborn Being from the dead, we are not called to live an ‘ordinary’ life.” This was the pastor’s opening statement for his book. “Wow,” Dan thought. Just that statement alone had his heart racing. “What a bold statement to make,” he considered. “A reborn Being from the dead,” he repeated slowly. “This is how God sees us,” the pastor stated. “This is how Satan, and his dark kingdom see us, too.”
This teaching continued as chapter one began, and the pastor explained how God’s word revealed, according to deep study of the Greek words, that a Christian was not only born-again, but the supernatural birth was so complete that the follower of Christ was actually a new creation, never existing before upon the face of this planet, until that day of Pentecost, and God poured out his Spirit. God created a new creation, in a class of its own, he declared, and we are not called to ordinary lives. “But what does this mean?” he asked the reader.
His keynote scripture for chapter one was, First Peter, two, and verses four and five: “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 2: 4-5)
From this he went on to teach about how the Old Testament was type and shadows of things to come, but not the actual thing itself, and therefore, everything they did was done from a “natural” standpoint, and not supernatural. He continued to make his point by explaining that God never once referred to Israel as a “Spiritual House”. He called them the Children of Israel, the House of Israel, or House of Judah, but never did he call them a “spiritual house” as he did the born-again believers in Christ! “And what does this mean?” he asked the reader again?
We are not called to ordinary lives, he kept repeating. We are called to “spiritual” lives tapping into the supernatural! The Jews operated in the “natural”. The sacrifice of a sheep is a “natural” thing that was performed according to a detailed “program” God laid down for them, because they were not capable of the spiritual yet! ! I Peter 2:4-5 had also declared us to be priest capable of offering “spiritual” sacrifices, not natural, supernatural, not ordinary man-made kind of living, but a life on another level that only God could give!
Dan laid down the book and sat there spellbound, “I’ve been living a man-made life,” he realized. Yes, he went to Church on Sundays. Yes, he had received Christ at an early age and been baptized. Yes, he believed in God and even prayed before family meals, but he knew in his heart that he was guilty of taking God for granted, and not being interested in a deeper walk in spiritual things. He did not know God’s power. He could not be an eagle, because he was living like a sparrow. He was a baby who had not grown.
Dan heard his wife coming in with the groceries. He was still locked away in his den and did not want to leave. Something was beginning to turn inside, and he could not stop now. He decided he should let Cathy know.
Coming out of the room just in time to grab a bag as she fought with the front door, “Hey, Honey, let me help you.” And so he carried in the rest of the groceries while she started putting it away. He gave his wife a big hug and said, “You’ve got keys, gas, and a car. Do whatever you feel like doing. Don’t worry about me. Take the kids and see a movie, go shopping, stay home and watch tv and eat junk food, I don’t care, but I’m locked away on a mission with God. Okay?”
So he gave her another big hug and said, “I love you, and I’ll see you tomorrow.” The whole process had taken fifteen minutes of time, but now he was locked in for good. Nothing short of an emergency was bringing him out of this room. He reminded himself… “A new creation of people…a spiritual house…to offer up spiritual sacrifices…?”
He tried to comprehend what this meant, “That means when I accepted Christ, I was ‘transported’?” He liked the word transported, because that was the way he felt. He had been picked up and immediately changed…transported… transformed…and dropped into something much bigger than he realized. He was dropped into something…supernatural! And no longer expected to live a “normal” life. But what was this bigger thing he could be living? How was he supposed to live in it? How had he failed to see the supernatural side of his Christianity? The scriptures plainly revealed that he was God-made, and everything in his life was expected to be God-made, but if a stamp were put on him today, he would have to admit that it would say: “Made in the U.S.A.!” Sure, he was successful in the eyes of the world, but what of God?
Dan was getting the idea that these “spiritual sacrifices”, spoken of in First Peter, were a doorway to this higher living, and yet he did not practice them. His prayer life was shallow and irregular at best. Worship? Only in Church on Sundays, and his mind often drifted even then. Deep study in God’s word, followed by faith-filled application? Who are we kidding? It was time to be honest before God. His life was man-made in every way, except for a belief in Christ that saved him, and gave him a future in heaven, but he was beginning to think he would just barely make it through the gate.
So God had birthed through Abraham the coming promise of a Savior born of a woman, and then slowly worked his plan through the Children of Israel all those years, just so there could eventually be a race of people born, who were actually indwelt with the presence of God, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, able to offer up spiritual sacrifices. And these sacrifices were powerful beyond any measurement man could imagine!
Dan decided he was ready for the next point. It only took a few paragraphs, when the teacher went to the woman of Samaria, and the encounter she had with Jesus at the well, in John chapter four. This woman belonged to the ten lost tribes of Israel. They were considered lost because they had intermarried with so many Gentiles that they were no longer a pure bloodline. When the Israel nation split under the reign of Rehoboam, he did not want his people traveling to Jerusalem to worship in their temple, which was the one true temple established by God. Nonetheless, he set up places of worship within their own lands, and now this Samaritan woman wanted Jesus to tell her which mountain was the correct place to worship? The mountain in which her fathers worshipped, or in Jerusalem, where the pure bloodline, the ones who looked down on them, where they said they were to worship. “I perceive that you are a prophet,” the woman had said. “Tell me, Jesus, our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Once again, Jesus had an answer that was different from all the above, because that which had been a picture of something coming, was now being replaced by that very thing! A new dimension was opening for those willing to step through and be transported into something supernatural and powerful!
“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” (vrs23) “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” (vrs 24) “God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Israel had never offered up one spiritual sacrifice in all those sheep, goats, calves and etc. they had slain! But now “Dan” could! And for the most part, Dan had not! How had he failed to value so great a gift? How had he neglected and took for granted a treasure from heaven, worth more than all the gold of Solomon? He was a guilty priest. He felt shame and fear gripping his heart as he thought about these things. He did not even know how to operate in this powerful priesthood, this dimension he had been transported into, but he made a promise to himself, and to God, that before this night was over, he would!
It was time. Dan looked at the clock and it was pushing nine p.m.. “Already?” he thought. It was not that late, but it was time to get the coffee going. He did not want to be drowsy while he studied. He leaned back in his chair and rubbed his eyes. Once he started rubbing them, it was hard to stop. Cathy would be putting the kids in bed about now. He leaned forward and grabbed the thermos full of coffee. As it poured into the cup, steam rose up. The extra money spent on a thermos was worth it.
Coffee and peanut butter cookies, that would keep him going for now. The author of the book had opened his eyes to the power of spiritual sacrifices offered to God. They were more than just rituals and religious practices, they opened portals. They opened portals. Did he even believe in such things? He decided he did. Now what was he going to do?
To neglect opening powerhouse portals in the spirit, allowing God to move, allowing the Holy Spirit to flow in, allowing the supernatural to shape the natural, to neglect such a gift seemed ridiculously foolish, and yet that is what most Christians do, according to this teacher. He pondered these things as he chewed on another cookie, the sugar and coffee beginning to do their job.
Long shadows were reaching across the neighborhood while he stared out the window. Another day almost done, and for what? What would this day matter in eternity? The big house, fancy four-wheel drive truck, flat-screen tv, all the hours spent selling pipe as if the world depended on it, just so he could have such things? But they would be gone, and then what? What was a flat-screen worth at the pawn shop in heaven? What kind of trade-in value on the truck? What would be the resale value of his big house? What “would” have value in heaven? So much time spent trying to have a good time down here, when this is not even our home? This is not our home? “Then why do I live like it is?” he had to ask. No answer.
“Why do I live like earth is my home?” he continued pressing. Did he really believe the Bible? Did he believe he was a new creation, never existed before? No longer belonging to this planet, but a Kingdom called heaven? Why did he work so hard trying to enjoy earth, and lay so little up for his real home? In the eyes of God, he was living upside down, and that was why he had this inner struggle driving him crazy. He was living the normal mortal life. The ordinary life, but there was something bigger and better out there, and his soul knew it, even yearned for it.
The Preacher in the book was starting to relate everything to the eagle. This Priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices, was a picture of people who choose to actually practice the powerhouse virtues of their faith, as explained in scripture. The first “eagle scripture” they went to, was the very popular one of Isaiah 40:31. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
First he pointed out that this was a very supernatural formula, showing supernatural results. Dan could see that the Preacher had an obvious point. He went on to say, it is those who “wait”…upon the Lord… who meet the requirement to open this portal of power and blessing. However, then he asked, “What does it mean to wait?”
Dan thought the answer to that was obvious also, but turns out it was not. In the Hebrew, that word translated as “wait”, actually meant to be intertwined like the cords of a rope! “Hhmm,” Dan thought, “that certainly shines a different light on it.” It was a word indicating unity, oneness, harmony, agreement, relationship, time spent becoming one, a unity of purpose and passion. And for those who fulfilled this, a portal opened, the promises of strength renewed, and wings as eagles, run and not weary, walk and never faint. “Wow,” he sighed as he sat back in his chair again and looked out at the darkness.
“What does this look like in real life?” he tried to understand, because he knew he would not grow literal physical wings, and if he ran he would certainly eventually collapse. Could a person really live this? Then he thought about Cathy’s dad, Don. “Yes, we can, and that is what it looks like.”
The pieces were beginning to come together in his head. He was a new creature in Christ, a royal priesthood able to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God. These sacrifices opened supernatural portals, allowing God to do things that only God can do. To him be all the glory. In this process there is a “unity”, a “oneness” that must develop between the Master and his disciple. If he practiced these spiritual disciplines faithfully, the unity of purpose would develop, and powerful portals would open, confirming something that used to be called…“the Anointing!”
But this was only the beginning, there was more.
“They that wait upon the Lord…”, he pondered those words over and over in his mind as he stared out into the darkness. It was more than simply waiting on God. It was even more than being a servant, as in serving, waiting on, as to serve, it was more than that. It spoke of unity. It spoke of relationship. These were the ones who had found the secret place of power, a supernatural lifestyle mounting up with wings as the eagle. It was a falling in love with God!
Dan glanced at the clock again and saw it was 11:00 p.m. and not slowing down at all. Soon it would be the midnight hour. Now the Preacher was taking him to Psalms 91… “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High…” . Notice it does not say the “most-low”, the Preacher pointed out, we are talking about “high-places”, he said. He that “dwells” there, he emphasized. And then another supernatural promise, “shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
The Teacher was driving his point home, scripture upon scripture. He was revealing an uncommon lifestyle, not ordinary, or even mortal, for eternity is already possessed by the born-again! This mindset. This vision affecting every decision made. Living in the high-places. Learning lessons from the eagle, no longer satisfied with the flapping lives of little sparrows!
Verse nine, “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; (Your home!)
Verse ten, “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”
Verse thirteen, “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”
Verse fourteen, “Because he hath set his love upon me, (God), therefore will I…” And Dan took note of every promise God made in the following verses, to those who set their love upon him, those who became one with him, those who made God their habitation! All of it was supernatural, and all of it would be done by God, not the Christian, but God would do the heavy lifting, a supernatural lifestyle fulfilling the picture of an eagle, Isaiah 40:31. The eagle flaps his wings to mount up, until he reaches a point of stretching out those powerful wings and God carries him!
The more he read the verses in Psalms 91, the more Dan was drawn to fall to his knees and pray before going on. So right then and there he broke before the Lord his God, and poured out his heart to his Creator, the lover of his soul.
When he finally rose from that prayer, it was midnight, a new day was just beginning. He felt like every care of the world had been lifted from his shoulders. He turned back to the book and saw the Preacher was now going to some verses in Job 39. Again, it was about the eagle. He had forgotten these verses were even there. He could not believe the incredible things God’s word had to say about the eagle, and what a picture it painted!
Dan was ready to press on now. He had unloaded the heavy burden of so many years of taking God for granted, living in a man-made lifestyle, ignoring the powerful blessings of his priesthood in Christ. “Never again,” he said, as he turned his eyes towards these very powerful scriptures in Job. “What exciting spiritual keys for living might these sacred words reveal?” He could hardly wait to find out.
“Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.” Job 39: 27-30
“This has not been my life,” Dan sadly concluded. “What is this? This is so powerful.” He kept reading the words over and over. He could not get away from the powerful lifestyle being described. These verses were describing someone who was so established in purpose and vision that nothing else distracted them. They lived in high places because of the truth and wisdom they knew. They lived in high places because they were the hunter and not the prey. They lived in high places because they ruled over the low places, and were not part of it, but lived above, in the place of wisdom and strength, because of what life was really about. They lived as a warrior, and not simply a citizen of heaven.
The book was really pressing hard now. These sacred scriptures spoke of dwelling and abiding on the rock, the strong place. In John chapter fifteen, Jesus spoke of abiding in him, and without him we could do nothing. There was Dan’s answer. What was his flat-screen tv worth at a pawn shop in heaven? Nothing. By not abiding in Christ, with all his living like a sparrow and flapping, flapping, flapping, he had accomplished a bunch of nothing. The big house was worth nothing. The four-wheel drive truck would set here and rust, long after he was gone. A bunch of nothing.
But not the eagle. He that abideth… He that abideth in the secret place of the most High. All the scriptures were building one upon another, revealing a sacred lifestyle, so powerful in the supernatural, that like the eagle, this person could dwell on high, and with powerful vision, seek out the prey in the low-lands. He could choose and target. He lived as the hunter, and wouldn’t you know it, eagles hate snakes! They are one of natures greatest snake killers! What a picture God was painting with the eagle, and yet we ignore his wisdom, and rush into our days flapping, flapping, flapping; creating a bunch of man-made stuff having no eternal value. How have we ignored so vivid a picture?
“Doth the eagle mount up at thy command?” No. Scripture plainly says that it is God who chooses who to “lift-up”, and who to “put-down”. Those who dwell in the secret place. The great mystery that was hidden through all the ages, until Christ, the Rock, would be revealed. They that wait upon the Lord…they that abide, live, dwell, habitate, in Christ. They do not rise from bed and rush into their day, but they offer up spiritual sacrifices, they live as a royal priesthood, they soar and do not flap, as they walk in the Spirit, led of God and not their flesh, or man-made wisdom.
The preacher wanted to make a point about flapping, because even the eagle does some, but what is the difference between the flapping of an eagle in God, and that of a carnal Christian? “Where does the eagle get its vision?” the author asked. “From the high places.” he answered. And then he started talking about “The 3 P’s”. That is what he called them. “The 3 P’s” stood for Praise (Worship), Prayer, and Promises (the Word). This must be the daily habits of the eagle Christian, he explained. Then he showed a diagram in the book.”This is the flapping of an eagle,” he said. There were pictures of him standing on a church platform with his hands together in front of him, like when someone prays. This picture was followed with pictures showing his arms and hands raising to an overhead worship position. Then he brought them down again into prayer, and then up again into praise! And then prayer, and then worship! And then prayer, and then praise! It could plainly be seen the flapping motion of a great bird mounting up! “Oh my God!” Dan almost shouted, he was so impacted by the lessons God had painted in the eagle!
But there were two final pictures to go.
Once the eagle Christian had praised and prayed himself into the Spirit, then the soaring began. Having sought God’s Presence for his day, God now ordering his steps, as he would stay in faith in the Promises of God, sighting his targets, his mission from on high, the eagle was now soaring, not flapping! The Pastor stood there with his arms outstretched as if soaring, and what a picture it was! Dan imagined how it would be to soar and not flap! The beauty, peace, and power of such a lifestyle! He wanted to stay right there! This is what his soul had been longing for!
But there was one picture left.
With his arms still outstretched in the soaring position, he made one small move that changed everything. Dan’s heart melted again, although he thought it could not melt any more, and yet it did, as the Pastor turned his hands, and it looked as if he were nailed to a cross. Under this picture it simply said…
“Take up your cross, and follow me.” Signed, Jesus.
The subject of surrender, love, and devotion; this is where the eagle lives.
Dan kept looking back and forth at the two pictures with the Pastor’s arms outstretched. One represented soaring like an eagle, and the other represented a life of sacrifice, the cross, and the two were interwoven like those cords of a rope spoken of in Isaiah 40:31.
In order to become one with the Spirit, the way an eagle soars upon a current of wind, there had to be a surrender, a breaking of the will. In this book, “Soar More / Flap Less”, the Pastor strongly expounded that the breaking of our will is not a breaking of our strength, but it is a unity of purpose, making us even stronger, like a rope becomes stronger as more cords are intertwined.
This is a process, the Teacher explained. It is a process leading to the high places, just like a stairway leads to the top floor of a building. But the first step, the crucial first step, involves a breaking, a surrender, a devotion, a falling in love, a giving to the Lord “FIRST PLACE” in your life. It is not that you do not have other things also, but the Lord is FIRST! And we develop a lifestyle of seeking FIRST the Kingdom of God. This is what the eagle has to teach us.
This staircase, although it starts at a very broken place, it leads to a very powerful existence, supernatural in nature. With God, it is the broken wings that soar! Paul wrote of this staircase, and explained that when he was weak, then was he strong! “Would you like to see this sacred stairway?” the Pastor asked. And then he said, “Turn to Second Corinthians, chapter seven and verse eleven.”
Dan was anxious to see this because he had already broken before the Lord. Circumstances, and his conscience had been pounding him for many months. The Holy Spirit had been working on him, to break him, for a long time now, and when he poured out his heart to God in prayer, he knew he had broken, and since the first step was already accomplished, he did not fear it, but already embraced it. Now, what might the second step be? And how many steps are there? His mind raced as he anxiously turned the pages of his Bible. He knew this book had it too, but he wanted to see it in his Bible first. So when he located it, he slowly began reading…
“For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort,” The first step, Dan thought, the breaking step.
Second step, “what carefulness it wrought in you,”
Third step, “yea, what clearing of yourselves,”
Fourth, “yea, what indignation,”
Fifth, “yea, what fear,”
Sixth, “yea, what vehement desire,”
Seventh, “yea, what zeal,”
Eighth, “yea, what revenge!”
“Revenge?” Dan was shocked. “Revenge?” He did not understand. He could plainly see the steps of the stairway, and it fascinated him. He was already into steps two and three, a carefulness and clearing of yourself. And this top step did excite him! It was powerful, just as the Pastor had said. As a man, as someone who was a warrior at heart, the thought of it was very appealing, but where was a place for revenge in the life of a Christian? And yet, had not the Apostle Paul just spoke of it, and put it at the top of this very sacred and supernatural staircase? His mind continued racing. “Holy Spirit help me,” he prayed.
Dan thought about that last verse on the eagle, in Job. “Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.”
It was then that he thought he heard God speak to him in that very deep and personal way, like he had not heard in many months, but now was beginning to be restored. He was sure he heard the Spirit of God ask, “Will you be my spiritual Bounty Hunter? Will you live in the high places, and learn to kill snakes?”
Now Dan was both excited, and scared!
“Take up your cross and follow me.”
“Remember Lot’s wife.”
“He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
“For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”
Dan was beginning to understand his father-in-law. Both Cathy and Dan had talked between themselves of the odd change that came over her dad after he spent time in this book, and yet he was happier than they could ever remember him being, so no one challenged him on his new outlook. Cathy’s mom was not complaining, and everyone had to admit he was affecting people in a good way, a way that was leading them to God. So who was going to argue with that? But no one understood.
It was now two a.m. when Dan rose from his desk to stretch his legs. It looked very peaceful outside. Cathy and the children should be sound asleep. Deciding he needed some fresh air, he threw on a light jacket and cap, and quietly slipped out of the house and into the streets. He used to take long walks to clear his head. He enjoyed walking, and tonight was a perfect fall night. He needed this walk to give things a chance to settle. It was all starting to make sense, now his mind would fit the pieces of the puzzle together. Yes, like the remark Cathy’s dad had made about being a hunter for God.
He understood now. For Cathy’s dad, Don, it was no longer about where he could make the most money, or have the best benefits, or what others thought about his choice of employment. It was about where God was sending him. It was about a mission for God. You did not need to leave America to be a missionary. God might send you to a mall, or a prison, or even a big corporation. It was about God’s leading and catching that perfect will of God in your life, like an eagle riding the wind.
A spiritual Bounty Hunter? The seeking of God’s treasures. There is great bounty in seeking to save that which is lost. The eagle is a bird of prey, he is a warrior bird, he is not afraid to face a foe and do warfare. When Jesus spoke of the eagles being gathered to the slain? The Preacher had gone into all the details of what people have said. Eagles are not drawn to carrion as a vulture is, but Job 39 had spoken of where the slain are, there is the eagle. And the pastor brought out a little known reference from a commentary that seemed to make a lot of sense: “As birds of prey scent out the carrion, so wherever is found a mass of incurable moral and spiritual corruption, there will be seen alighting the ministers of divine judgement.” (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown).
“What is coming, Lord?” he asked out loud. “I know things are getting worse all the time. You spoke of Sodom and Gomorah, and as in the days of Noah, but are we at such an ‘incurable’ point?” He could not help but wonder about the moral and spiritual corruption. He spent some time brooding over that very thing, realizing he had done very little to push back that dark tide, and then another thought came.
“But also, what does it mean to present your body as a living sacrifice?” Dan couldn’t believe he was thinking such deep thoughts as he walked down the street, hands in his pockets, head low, lost in his thoughts and the simple pleasure of putting one foot in front of the other over and over again. It felt good. Those who become a living sacrifice, one with their Lord, those who take up their cross, lay down this world’s glamour and delight in pursuing God, they are the eagles. The dead body of Christ paid the price for our salvation and the eagles gather to him. And they are a living carcass themselves, more alive than they ever thought possible! These eagles gather to such things! But these are not things able to be spoken of.
Dan was not saying he knew his thoughts were correct. He simply saw a lot of possibilities here, and something was correct, and the eagle is a warrior, a snake killer, and there will be bodies, those of the demons fallen in battle, because a child of God caught a glimpse of what Paul meant when he spoke of spiritual revenge!
Dan knew he could not explain this to anyone else. He couldn’t even explain it to himself, he just knew that in these pieces was a powerful answer that was true, and somehow his spirit man was grasping it! Somehow he could live this, and be inspired by it, a bush on fire but not consumed! Where did that come from?
Yes. Moses had spent forty years in a wilderness tending sheep, and during that time he had fallen from being a great spokesman in Egypt, to being an introverted stutterer in the wilderness. But then he had an experience with God. It came in the form of a burning bush that was not being consumed by the flames! The time Moses spent at that bush set him on a course to fulfilling his destiny in Egypt. God restored him at that bush. Now the question God was asking him, could he be a burning bush, not consumed by the fire, but a bush in which others could come and be set free from their stutter, empowered, and on course for God? The eagle was such a bird.
Yes. Cathy’s dad was a spiritual hunter, living like an eagle in the high places, and it just happened God sent him to a downtown area on a mission to seek prey! Bind the devil, root him out, and set people free. Be my Bounty Hunter. And Don loved it. He was thriving in it, and God was meeting their needs. Dan finally understood Cathy’s dad, even though his own daughter did not. Dan couldn’t help but chuckle as he walked down the sidewalk lit by city lamps. Tomorrow they would be getting a babysitter. He just had to take Cathy out and try to explain to her the incredible things he now saw, and hopefully even help her understand her own dad.
The clock read 3:00 a.m. as he reentered his den. The walk had been peaceful and refreshing. He wanted to hit the book for a little longer and then retire to bed. His mind already had a lot to sleep on. Dan realized the value of feeding things into your mind and then sleeping on it. He learned this a long time ago, there was something about the stage between sleeping and waking that was a womb of inspiration and genius. The twilight zone, as you lay there floating, not asleep, nor fully awake. He was very anxious what his mind might present during this time, after feeding on so much information, but he wanted to add just a little more. What was the next point this book was about to make?
Turns out it was a reference to Exodus 19:4. Dan flipped his Bible to the location and began reading:
Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians… and how I bare you on eagle’s wings… and brought you unto myself.
The Pastor explained that this was a picture of salvation, and note that God points out three very specific things! #1> “Ye have seen what I did to the Egyptians”.The Children of Israel had become the “slaves” of the Egyptians. They were in hard bondage, building an empire for a heathen people, not even their own. They had no hope. They were powerless to stand up against so great an army. The Egyptians even murdered their male children when born, to keep their numbers within a certain range, and keep them weak. There was no escape, and no hope, until God defeated Egypt for them.
Egypt was symbolic of the devil and being sold into slavery by your sins, with no hope of ever being free unless God intervened, and so he did. The picture continued very vivid as God parted the “Red” Sea, allowing the Children of Israel to escape, but then drowned Pharaoh and his army in those very same waters. God entered in, fought for them, defeated Egypt, symbolic of Satan and the world, and saved Israel. This was salvation through Christ.
Point #2> “and how I bare you on eagles’ wings”. Once again the eagle came into reference as a description of what God had done in salvation! Psalms 91, I shall cover you with my feathers, and under my wings shalt thou trust! Again, God did the heavy lifting, birthed on eagles’ wings and escorted into a lifestyle the eagle is a picture of, but sadly, time and time again, Israel failed to be anything but little flapping sparrows.
Here is what the Teacher particularly wanted the student to see, Point #3, “and brought you unto myself”. Once again, they that wait upon the Lord, shall mount up with wings as the eagle and be brought unto Himself! A gathering of eagles! Reconfirming over and over again how his creation of the eagle was a picture for all those desiring to come unto God! To become one, draw close, live in the high places, and know the powerful life God offers! To which, a bunch of worthless flapping is detrimental, for it is not God’s way and we have not so learned Christ! God wants to draw close to us, and the eagle represents that powerful life in Him.
Dan understood that God fought the devil and defeated him, so he could bare Dan on eagles’ wings, and bring him to Himself. What a beautiful picture, but Dan had failed to value the power of his priesthood, able to offer up spiritual sacrifices that opened portals for God to move. Flapping had been his way as he lived his man-made life, but now things were different, because his eyes had been opened to a much larger world, offering a different way to live. Dan was ready to soar, and wanted nothing less!
The book was not done, but he was too tired to go any further. He glanced at where the Preacher was going and saw something about “youth being renewed”. “Wow, that sounds interesting,” he thought, but weariness was upon him, so he wrote a note to Cathy saying: “Please make arrangements with the baby sitter for tonight. I should be up around noon. I have lots to share, but I want to do it over a nice meal. I love you, and looking forward to tonight.” He left the note where she would see it, and then gently crawled into bed where he swiftly drifted off to dream the dreams of a child of God. No, Dan was not a bird as he had so plainly stated to Cathy before… but he was a child of God.
Returning to our story, “The Encounter”…
Dan was anxious to share with Cathy what he had learned from “the book”. Her favorite food was steak, so as they pulled into the parking lot of her favorite steakhouse, Cathy’s mind was on food, but Dan’s mind was on food Cathy knew not of, much like when the disciples came to Christ and he told them he had meat to eat they knew not of. (John 4:32) Dan was going to order light, so he could talk while Cathy ate. He was looking more forward to this than a steak meal!
It didn’t take long to be seated, order drinks, salad, and meal. Some pleasant conversation about family and the things on Cathy’s mind preceded the arrival of her steaming hot juicy steak. She had had a chance to clear her mind in general conversation, but now Dan was ready to share his.
Cathy knew what this meal was actually about, and when her steak arrived, she said, “So, you were up most the whole night with ‘dad’s book’. What did you think of it, and, did it give you any ideas?”
“Honey, you have no idea. I feel like a new man.”
“Really?” she responded in interest.
“Yes,” he began. “We do not realize the power of actually putting God first. I never realized the ‘supernatural’ side of things. I’m a practical guy and supernatural always just sounded weird, to me. I don’t do ‘weird’ very well, but I’m telling you Cathy, we don’t know what we’ve been missing. I failed to understand the power of my priesthood in Christ.”
Cathy was quiet for a moment as she finished swallowing a delicious bite of the steak, but then asked, “What do you mean by that? I mean, we’re not actually pastors, or anything.”
“No, but every child of God has entered into a priesthood and it is powerful! ‘If’… ‘if’, they practice what God has provided. These spiritual sacrifices, as scripture calls them, actually open portals, dimensional portals, allowing God to move in your behalf. In other words, he goes before you and creates your way.”
“Hhmm, that sounds interesting, but what’s the catch?”
“Well, that is the big question, isn’t it. Here it is. You got to live with him. I mean, really live with him.”
Now Cathy was confused and Dan could see it in her eyes. “Alright, help me out here,” she began, “I know we will live with him after we die, but I don’t see how committing suicide would help our cause down here,” she ended with a chuckle, and a remark about how good her steak was.
Not deterred in the least, Dan responded, “Not suicide, but selficide.”
Cathy almost choked on her steak as she hurried to say, “What?”
“Yes, we’re like people looking for love in all the wrong places. We don’t understand how ‘surrender’ is not a breaking of our strength, but it is a ‘unity’ of purpose, like more strands of a rope being wound together, we actually become stronger, more powerful. And as our will unites with His, we begin to actually practice our priesthood, which opens powerful doors for God to flow. But there is a sacrifice to be made in order to live in the high places with God. These sacrifices will pay-off in the long run, but may be hard to see in the present, which requires a lot of faith. However, once you develop your eagle wings, you soon realize there is no greater way to live than in your priesthood with him. It is the difference between a life of a bunch of flapping… and soaring!”
Dan paused to read Cathy’s eyes again, he could see her curiosity and desire to understand, so he continued, “Take your dad, for instance. We were both confused by the direction he took with his life, and yet we had to admit he was happy and affecting people in a powerful way, even though we did not understand. I actually understand him now. I know what he means when he talks about being the hunter, and not the prey. I know what he means when he says he is on a mission for God, and downtown is his target. I understand where the joy is coming from in his life. Material things no longer mean much to him, he is having too much fun on his adventure with God, and the power of living in the high places. His spirit man has grown so strong that he is no longer dependent upon external things for happiness, his strength comes from within. The Kingdom of God is within him, and he is already living there, and then it flows out, affecting the physical world around him.”
Now it was time to let Cathy respond. He had already given her a lot to think about in a very short time. Cathy’s eating slowed, and she had questions. He explained to her what it meant to “wait upon the Lord”, and how the 3 P’s of Praise, Prayer, and Promises were powerful priesthood tools that can actually shape the fabric of their personal creation. In many ways they had “tied the hands of God”, and because of free-will, man was the only creation God allowed to do that, even as Christ allowed Roman soldiers to bind his hands on the day he was betrayed.
“Our sins, our lack of faith, our lack of discipline ties God’s hands and we begin to reap what we have sown, which is when we usually begin to look for God again. That is what has been happening to me, honey. And when I hit that black bird and saw him flapping in the road, dazed and unable to fly away? That is why I saw ‘me’, and I did not even realize it.”
Dan and Cathy needed more time to talk, so Cathy decided to take home the rest of her steak, and they ordered one chocolate cola cake to split, and cups of coffee to drink while slowly enjoying desert. Then she asked, “What is this scripture about spiritual sacrifices and holy priesthood?”
Dan had brought a small New Testament with him, “It comes out of First Peter,” he said, “First Peter two and verse five,” he began reading, “And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priest. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.”
Dan handed the small Bible over to Cathy and said, “This spiritual temple, and spiritual sacrifices are more powerful than we know, and we have been called to live such a lifestyle, in the high places with God. We are called to live in Praise, Prayer, and Promises. It is a higher way of living. People fail to realize what God is offering. So they live lives of flapping in this carnal world and fail to be “fulfilled” in their new creation. We are eagles that are living like sparrows, and we wonder why our heart keeps telling us something is wrong? We are living way below our potential and are unfulfilled. Our fulfillment is waiting for us in the high places.”
Cathy read over the words two or three times before closing the book and asking, “So what does this mean for us? Where do we go from here?”
Dan answered without hesitation, “It means a powerful adventure with God! It means the unlocking of the secrets of the universe, for God knows all these things. He designed it, and he knows how it works. I’ve spent some time thinking about this, and let me describe it this way. You know how we were concerned about letting our kids watch those Harry Potter movies?”
“Yes,” she acknowledged, “and we were even more concerned when we saw how much they loved them. But they seemed harmless enough, so we went to each one as they came out, even though I’m still not sure that was such a good idea, but I just didn’t have the heart to say no.”
“Yes, exactly, I remember how we wrestled with that decision, too. But Cathy, this is what I am seeing. Hollywood comes out with a lot of perverted forms of what God has created. We all are spirit beings who were originally created in the image of God. Hollywood does not even realize a lot of times that they are presenting a deep spiritual truth, only in a perverted form. God offered such a life first! He offered for us to be Harry Potters in reverse! Actually, Harry Potter is a reverse form of us! If our kids catch a glimpse of what it means to search the deep and ancient holy scriptures, and they realize there are spiritual practices that offer a higher life, a spiritual journey leading to very powerful things, including an eternity in a place called heaven, can you imagine how excited they will be? Your dad is actually having the time of his life! He has been on a great adventure with God ever since he read the book! And God has met his needs, carried him on eagle’s wings.”
Cathy could see the life beaming in Dan’s eyes, a fire she had not seen there in a couple of years. “I get it now,” she said. “I actually see what you’re saying, and what God is offering, but I still don’t understand how to do it.”
“That is what I am learning,” Dan said, “Like a Harry Potter in reverse. And what I understand right now is, the eagle is a physical picture of it. Also, Praise, Prayer, and Promises is where we should be living. We should walk in these things. They must become our spiritual disciplines as we develop these wings of the eagle that will carry us unto Him. But there is one more thing.”
“What’s that?” Cathy asked.
“The reason so many people fail, is because God’s ways do not make sense to our own ways of thinking. It will be required of us to step out in a powerful force called faith. The true student of God’s word must enter this spiritual force called faith. Scripture says in II Chronicles 7:4, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face…”
Dan stopped there before explaining, “God’s people make a very common mistake of reading that verse and thinking they need to ‘pray more’, which is probably true, but they end up missing the very first step, which is… if my people will ‘humble’ themselves. Surrender and obedience are very powerful forces in the spiritual realms. The way up with God, looks like a way down to us. A way of failure and misery. To walk in spiritual things you have to trust God completely. He lifts us up supernaturally. That is why the teacher in this book emphasizes over and over again, that it is the broken wings that soar. God carries us on eagle’s wings, for sure, but our will must be broken to unite with his will, for the greater good of all, and for this very powerful lifestyle. These are the only people he will entrust with such great power.
Dan’s three-day weekend was rapidly passing. He had spent all Friday afternoon, evening, and most of that night locked away in his den with his Bible, and the book: “Flap Less / Soar More”. He slept a good part of Saturday, but took Cathy out that night for a steak meal and shared with her all he had learned, so she would be caught up on where they were going spiritually.
Now it was Sunday morning already, and he wondered what the Pastor’s message would be? If God was speaking through him, then surely his message would relate in some way to everything he was going through. But what if it did not? Now that he had a new perspective on everything, how would his Pastor’s messages sound to him?
It was a large Church that could seat a couple thousand people in the morning service. It had always met his needs before, but he had to admit his spiritual appetite had been pretty weak, and part of his motivation for going there was to make “contacts” for business. The more the people, the more the possible contacts. It was also a successful Church. Most of these people had money. But still, just because these things were true, did not mean the messages were weak and shallow. He needed to listen with new ears today, and see what might happen?
As they entered the Church they were properly greeted as usual, and proceeded from there to the snack bar where a lot of socializing occurred. Dan usually got a coffee, and he did the same today. He spoke to the usual people, the subjects mostly ranged from how was your week, how’s business, what about the game today, and do you plan to watch it? He started to talk to one friend about this new book he was reading.
“What did you say the name of the book is?” the brother asked.
“Flap less / Soar More”, he answered.
“Is that a book on leadership?”
“No, not really,” Dan answered. “It’s more about drawing closer to God and walking more in His Spirit.”
“Oh, sounds very interesting, Dan. Say, I got a good book on spiritual leadership I should pass off to you.”
And so the conversation went. Dan got to say a couple of things about his book, but felt like the brother was not really listening. He moved on. He glanced around at everyone smiling, talking about the goodness of God, the vacation they were planning, the latest terrorist report and how bad it was, and he knew he already had his answer. He knew what he would hear from the pulpit. He had known for a long time. He also knew he could come to this big Church and never really have much required of him. Only a few even noticed when they skipped for a week or two. Probably just on vacation, people assumed. These people seemed to love Church, but did they love Jesus, or just the things he could give them? Then he thought about the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount. There was a message for you. How did that message fit these people?
Everyone said they loved the Beatitudes, but how many really read them? How many wanted to practice them? Blessed are the poor in spirit? Blessed are the meek? Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness? Blessed are those who are persecuted for my name’s sake?
The Pastor’s message was about God being so rich that in His city you walk on gold! And you did not want to miss it! That was his way of preaching about hell. The word hell was rarely mentioned. There was no fear of God, but he was all love, ready to constantly forgive your sins and make you your best person. Dan realized all this was true, but this Pastor did not preach the “whole Word of God”. The Church he had been satisfied to go to, did not preach the whole Word of God. There was little preaching on holiness, or naming sin as sin. There was a huge spiritual gray area, and very little black and white. Dan did not know where they would go, but as they walked out of the service, he knew he would not be back. Hopefully, Cathy would be willing to follow his lead.
It was now Sunday afternoon and Dan was locked away in his den again. The family meal after church had been good, but his weekend was almost over and he still had some things to organize in his mind. He wanted to make some kind of a list. What did this thing look like on paper, to him, in his own words? If it could be put in a priority list, what would it look like?
The blank sheet of paper on the computer screen stared him in the face. He wanted to get this right, but he wasn’t sure how to start? Finally, he decided to take a step of faith and follow his heart. He was surprised at the first words coming to his mind.
“This is not my Home”
1.) Why do I live like this is my home?
2.) I am called to high places with God, to a priesthood, to be an eagle and not a sparrow.
3.) No more will I major on the minors, “a flapper”, but I will recognize what is truly important to my home with God.
4.) My priority list is: “Seek ye “FIRST” the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness…” My priesthood is Priority One!
5.) How will I do this?
6.) A tender heart. My tender heart will keep me in His path. The first step is LOVE. A heart broken for Him.
7.) His presence will be my guiding light. I will love His presence in my life, this is His priesthood.
8.) Anything that causes my awareness of Him to diminish, is my enemy.
9.) Anything that causes my awareness of Him to increase, will be my delight.
10.) In this way will my tender heart draw me to the high places, closer to Him, and we will soar.
11.) In this way will the lives of others be touched by God, through me.
12.) In this way will I live in the supernatural, even now. No more “ordinary” living.
Dan looked at his list and was very surprised. A tender heart towards God was the key to it all. Jesus told one church that they had left their first love. He thought about all the blessings God had blessed him with, and how he let those blessings become the very thing causing him to be too busy for God. “Now that is cold,” Dan thought. “Cold hearted.”
Yes, his list surprised him, but he liked it. His tender heart had led him to a list of greater wisdom than he had known. With this list his eagle wings would grow, and he would never be the same. He was an eagle looking down from the high places. Everything looked so different from here. Already, he could see how much his perspective of truly living had changed, and he felt excitement in his soul. He felt a fire. A warm fire glowing, and a hot fire growing, to change the world. That was what his soul had missed, a holy fire within. Now he had it, and he smiled.
Dan had one last section in the book to read before his weekend ended, so after supper he locked himself away again. Tomorrow he would rise early to begin another workweek, and he wanted to be ready. Flipping open the book to where his marker was, he began reading the verse of scripture for the last teaching.
“He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” (Psalms 103:5 NLT)
From here the teacher began to explain how this was a Psalms that David wrote, a man after God’s own heart. David is praising and expounding about all the goodness of God, and then in verse five he suddenly makes a comparison to the eagle, and he says: “My youth is renewed like the eagle!”
“What did David know that perhaps we do not?” the author asked. “What does it mean for our youth to be renewed like the eagle? How is the eagle’s youth renewed? What does it mean, and how does that compare to us?” Dan paused to ponder the power of one’s youth being renewed. Again, powerful and supernatural stuff.
The story went like this. There was a young man and a ship’s Captain standing at the rail of a ship, watching the land go by. The Captain spotted an eagle perched high on a sunbathed cliff and pointed it out to the young man. Taking the binoculars, the man studied the bird. He could see his feathers looked old and some were falling out. There were bloody spots where the eagle’s talons should be, and its beak was bloody and beaten. The young man concluded that the eagle was old and on his way to dying. So he told the Captain of his conclusion, but the Captain said, “Not so,” and began to explain why.
“You see the eagle is a very different bird. When he begins to age, and his talons are growing dull, and his beak is no longer sharp, he has a choice. When his feathers have lost their youthfulness and no longer catch the wind as they did, he has a choice. He can choose to find a rock in the high places, one in which the sun will bathe down upon him, and he begins to molt. One by one all his feathers begin falling out. Then he takes his beak and pulls out those dull talons, leaving the bloody holes. Then he beats his old beak off on the rock, and there he is, helpless, defenseless, unable to eat, fasting, but his youth is being renewed. It has to be a very unpleasant experience, but the reward is amazing.”
The Captain continued, “If he makes the choice to go through this process, he can possibly gain another forty years of life. Brand new youthful feathers grow back. A strong razor sharp beak grows back, long sharp talons grow out again, and then one day the eagle’s youth has been renewed and he spreads those wings and launches out from the cliff ready to soar and hunt again. He is strong and vital, ready to live another forty years.”
The young man was amazed at this ability of the eagle. The author continued teaching, making comparisons as to what it means to be born-again in Christ. He also taught more about the first step of surrender, spending time with God, soaking in his Son, so our youth can be renewed in supernatural things. The taking up of our cross to follow Jesus, the denying of self, but Jesus said if we lay down our life for his sake, then we will find abundance of life. Those who seek to save their own life, will lose it. It’s a process, for those wise enough to chose it.
Dan closed the book and looked at his priority list he had written, the one entitled: “This is not my Home”. Then he bowed his head and thanked the Lord for this awesome life God had given. He had been living it all wrong, unaware of this other way of living. Starting tomorrow, things would be different.
The next day the alarm went off and Dan got up, but he did not rush off into his day…
Once again Dan found himself in his truck driving down the road on way to his first sales call. His three day weekend was a blur of activity in his mind, as he had absorbed so much material in such a short time. Nevertheless, he now had the knowledge he needed for his new life, but as yet, nothing had changed. The start of his day was different, in that he was sure to have his devotion time, Praise, Prayer, and Promises, before he left. He had offered up his priestly sacrifices and walked out of the house spiritually prepared rather than spiritually deaf as he used to, but other than that, what had changed?
He was still selling pipe. He was still selling pipe he could no longer brag about the way he used to. He was still dreading his first sales call for fear he would have another dissatisfied customer, or possibly questions about rumors flying around the business concerning product malfunctions. So even though he was different now, walking in the spirit, the “physical” still seemed the same. Their had been no leading from God to quit his job, so here he was, going forward in faith and hoping for the best.
Driving down the road Dan discovered his old habit of talking to God had returned, “So what happens now, Lord? Will I hear a voice from heaven when I’m supposed to quit?” Then another idea came to mind and he simply began praying for God’s blessing, and he prayed until he had peace in his soul.
In this way several weeks passed by, and although there had been some ups and downs, somehow it all worked out and much of his dreading had faded away. He was no longer worried about quitting his job. It would all happen naturally as each day unfolded, and God would order his steps.
Then one day he remembered Mrs. Parker the bird doctor, and reached for his cell phone. Hitting the speed dial he waited for her answer so he could check on Blackie and ask about his trial release date?
Mrs. Parker heard the phone ringing, sat down the bird feed she was mixing and reached for the phone, “Hello, this is Mrs. Parker.”
“Hello Mrs. Parker, so good to hear your voice again. This is Dan, calling about our bird, Blackie. How’s he doing?”
“Oh, Dan, good to hear you, too. Well, our bird will be ready for his big test this Saturday. Are you still planning on bringing your family?”
“Yes, we would really like to be there. I’ve told our kids all about Blackie, how he was injured and might not fly again. They asked me what would happen if he could not fly? When I said he would spend the rest of his life in a pin, they were very sad to hear that, and we have been praying for Blackie ever since. It would really mean a lot to see if he takes to the air that day.”
Mrs. Parker smiled, thinking about this family praying for an injured black bird. “Your family would be most welcome, Dan. Say around noonish?”
“That would be perfect. Count on us to be there.”
“Okay, see you then. Bye-bye.”
“Goodbye Mrs. Parker.” The conversation had been short and to the point, the rest was in Blackie’s hands now, or rather his wings.
When Saturday came, the family was very excited as they pulled into the parking lot with a sign reading, Mrs. Parker the Bird Doctor. Everyone piled out of the car in great enthusiasm. The children were all a chatter with whether Blackie would fly or not. The little girl wanted to know if she could hold Blackie? Her mother, kneeling down and looking into her eyes, “He’s not that kind of bird, dear. He is a wild bird, and he belongs back in the sky.”
“But what if he doesn’t fly, mommy?”
“Then God will take care of that, honey. We’ve been praying, right?”
Cathy gave her daughter a warm hug and then watched her skip away like all was well with the world. Mrs. Parker was already holding the door open, warmly welcoming everyone to the big event.
Dan made all the introductions and the family finally had a face to put with the name of Mrs. Parker the bird doctor. It was an exciting time. There were a few other birds for the children to see, and Mrs. Parker took great delight in showing the children each one, and answering all their questions, but finally it came down to the star of the show, Blackie the black bird. The children oo’d and ahh’d over the shiny black feathers of the bird, but were not allowed to get too close, so they would not scare him. This was Blackie’s big day, and Mrs. Parker wanted him in a proper mood.
She had a specially prepared pin outside. It stood at least ten feet tall and was covered with a wire mesh. There was a small square door in the far upper corner that could be opened. Blackie would be released into the pin and if he flew out that door, then he would be free, but he had to fly at least that good.
Mrs. Parker moved everyone outside, explaining she would unwrap the bandages keeping him from moving his wings, and then she would release him into the pin through a window in the wall. They were instructed not to make any loud noises when Blackie came out, but to simply watch and see what happens.
The family waited in silence. Cathy was knelt down with her little girl, Tammy, and Dan had the two boys.
Tammy kept watching the window for Blackie. You could see the look of concern on her face. “I don’t see Blackie, mommy. Where is he?”
Mother picking Tammy up in her arms, “Mrs. Parker is getting him ready, dear. You’ll see. He’ll be here any moment now.”
Dan was strangely silent during this time. He had a connection with this bird. He had been the bird flapping around on the pavement, wanting to fly but unable, wanting to soar but not knowing how. Since that time God had healed his wings, given him wisdom from the eagle, and now his life was changed completely for the better, and he wanted to see Blackie fly. This bird had represented him when it was damaged and flapping about, and now he wanted to see Blackie fly up to that opening in the cage and take wing! The thought of him being damaged goods trapped in a cage simply would not be a proper ending to this drama. He needed to see the black bird fly.
Blackie’s story could not end with him being ‘damaged goods trapped in a cage’.
Those words echoed in Dan’s mind as he knelt with his two boys and they anxiously awaited Blackie to appear. A full two months had passed since that day and God had restored Dan’s wings. Not much had changed in his external world, but a life of the supernatural now manifested inside him, he practiced his priesthood, lived in the high places, and knew a supernatural harvest was coming. He did not know what the shape of it would be, but God would have an assignment for him, and it would be more than selling pipe.
Dan had learned what it was to live in the high places and walk in the Spirit. His old perspective of life was long gone, and he viewed everything from the high places now. His life of excessive ‘flapping’ had been replaced with peaceful ‘soaring’. It was a supernatural thing only God could do, and there would be more, as he proved faithful, an assignment would come, God’s voice would lead him, and until then, he practiced the broken wings of a tender heart, so he would always soar.
This time with his family today was precious. He looked over at his little girl, Tammy, in the arms of his wife, Cathy. He looked at his two boys right by his side, his arms around them as they waited for Blackie. He was rich beyond compare at that very moment. From the high places, in his new perspective, he could see the true riches of life, and it had very little to do with money and material things.
“There he is mommy!” Tammy almost shouted, but caught herself as she remembered what Mrs. Parker the bird doctor had said.
Both of the boys tensed in Dan’s arms as Blackie appeared on the window ledge. “Look, dad, his bandages are off. Do you think he can fly?”
“I don’t know, son, but I bet he is going to try.”
Another little shove from Mrs. Parker and Blackie the black bird hopped out into full view. As he did, a flurry of black wings fanned the air! He flapped just enough to keep from crashing into the ground, providing a controlled fall, rather than an all out crash.
Mrs. Parker came out the side door and joined Dan’s family. She saw the look of concern on all their faces. “This is not unusual, folks. Remember, he had a traumatic experience when he collided with your dad’s truck, he was badly injured, and has not been allowed to flap his wings for two months now. Have faith and give him a little time.”
Again, Dan felt like Mrs. Parker was talking about him. Perhaps God was still using this bird to show him things. He was anxious for an assignment, perhaps even to quit his job and find something new, but God was taking his time, he still needed a little time. Dan needed to have faith, and take his time.
Blackie tilted his head this way and that as if trying to understand his audience. Tammy giggled at the funny bird. “Look, mommy, he is watching us while we are watching him.” Everybody laughed.
Suddenly a flurry of black wings flashed again! “Caw! Caw!”, he sounded off. This time his wings carried him to a large limb inside the pin. He landed upon it, fluttered a little more while catching his balance, and settled in, once again staring at the crowd outside. You could hear the children gasp when Blackie first left the ground. One of the boys yelled, “Go Blackie!” And Tammy clapped her little hands while grinning from ear to ear, face all aglow with joy. But Blackie still had not flown for the open door. Did he even see it?
Mrs. Parker reached into her pocket and pulled out a handful of corn. Walking over to the pin she let Blackie see what was in her hand and then reached up and placed it on the small platform connected to the open door. Blackie tilted his head again, eyeballing the platform. “Caw! Caw!” The children watched intently.
It didn’t take long after that. When Blackie saw the open door, he did not hesitate. Just like Dan, when he had found answers in a book called, “Flap Less / Soar More”, he dug in and immediately changed his life. Those black wings started flapping again, and when he reached the door he did not even stop for the corn but just kept right on flying into freedom! Everyone began applauding, as they listened to his cawing disappear into the sky. Blackie the black bird was free to soar again, and probably a wiser bird, because he now had personal experience with moving vehicles.
Dan ordered in pizza for everyone and they all celebrated a restored bird with Mrs. Parker the bird doctor. On one of the pizzas he ordered black olives, and extra black olives; this was for Blackie. It was a grand celebration in the bird place that day.
Before leaving, Mrs. Parker explained how things don’t always go so well, and she showed the family a bird who had failed to fly. He had been with her for two years, and would never fly again. At first Dan thought it was another black bird, but turns out it was a raven.
Just before leaving, he walked over to the donation box and dropped in a fifty, and then it hit him, he knew what he was going to do. Out of the blue God had dropped it in his soul as simply as he dropped a fifty in a box. Dan was going to write a story, a children’s story, only for adults!
Later that day when Dan was at home and locked away in his study, he sought God’s leading in prayer. “What is this, Lord? An adult message written in children’s form? Hmmm, interesting idea. You want me to write about a bird that can’t flap?”
Dan used to love writing, but it was a pleasure that had slipped away in the past couple of years. Everyone said he had a gift, but it was never a serious pursuit, only something done for fun, and now God had just blown on those old embers and rekindled a small flame. Would it grow? Could he still do it? He was seriously intrigued by the idea, and the challenge of creating a children’s story with an adult message.
In his new way of doing things, he knew it was time to pray, and now, as he poured out his heart to God, he was feeling a confirmation in his soul. Ideas were popping in his head, and curiosity was compelling him. This bird he saw in his head would go on a great spiritual journey, and he just had to know how this story would play out. Even as the writer, he did not know! He had to get into the head of this bird, and put himself in its’ situation, and then see where God, his gift, the bird, and the situation would take him. He simply had to write it, even if it was only for himself, he had to know what would happen with a bird named, “Flapless”.
As Dan rose from prayer, cleared his desk and turned on the monitor, his heart was anxious to see that glowing blank screen of white paper pop up before him. There were words screaming to be written! A story wanting to be told! A blank canvas waiting for a word artist! He was pregnant, and must be delivered! And so he began…
“The Little Bird that Couldn’t”
A children’s story “for Adults”.
He couldn’t remember why or how. All he knew was that he couldn’t… he could not flap his wings.
To be continued.
Written by: Don Allen