the lion and the eagle

Being a human is hard.

Being a human and trying to do what you think is right is hard.

I am someone who acts. I take action. Leading is natural for me. I lead at home, at work, at church, etc.

However, has it become so natural that I do not think it all through?

I find that each time I try to do good, somehow I am left with more mess and more heavy, making me want to retreat and not move/engage/breathe at all.

Maybe you have felt that too? You try to help only to unlayer more layers of this awful onion of issues. All issues that need to be addressed and all issues that are valid. This is applicable in relationships, workplace, parenting, oh man is it applicable in parenting, and just life. You want to keep helping and keep fighting for what you think is right but you find yourself just so exhausted by the battle.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I have been praying about it endlessly. What is my role to play? What do I need to do?

And then, I was given the image of a lion and an eagle.

Lions: fierce, mighty, strong, protective, leader

but lions are also terribly destructive. They leave a trail as they move to act, breaking branches or stomping on grass to make their move.

Eagles: fierce, mighty, strong, protective, leader

but eagles are also precise, calculated, observant, and leave little trail of destruction in their decisions to act. Eagles, because of the gift of flight, can swoop in and swoop out, never destroying the area around their course of action.

Be more like the eagle.

An eagle has the gift of impeccable sight, seeing eight times farther than a human and can focus in on the object of their vision. They fly from a distance, but are constantly watching around them. They soar, let’s not say hover, but soar around making informed decisions of when would be best to act and what part is theirs to play.

A lion’s roar can be heard from as far as five miles away. Talk about calling attention. What is the purpose of the lion’s roar? To know it is there. Yes, there is a time to use your voice. Absolutely. But, are you calling attention to yourself or are you calling attention to the issue? Are you listening or are you roaring? The roar insights fear, not love.

I have been thinking about this analogy for a few days and then my family and I went for a walk in the woods yesterday. As we were walking, my children screamed, “Eagle!” and up above us was an eagle, majestically flying around above us. This eagle, was gliding through the air, observing the world around it, and making decisions on when and how it should act. The eagle did not interfere with our walk, just made it more beautiful by its presence, and there was a peace in knowing it was there.

I say this as a human, not the mouse or fish it was stalking.

The eagle is so unobtrusive, that you cannot even see it in this picture.
But it was there, soaring above.

It has made me think…am I leaving a trail of destruction in my effort to do good? Or am I making precise and thoughtful decisions towards the goal of love, unity, and restoration? Am I providing peace in my presence or intimidation?

I also have this thought process that all the problems are mine to solve. How heavy of a burden that is to carry and a burden I placed on myself. I have a role to play, but from a place of observation, I can see my part…and also see other people’s parts. I need to allow others to act and trust that all the pieces come into play. I cannot control my spouse’s actions, or my friend’s actions, or my coworker’s actions. I do not know what is going on in their heart and what they feel called to do. But, I have to give them space and time to do their part of the story. By trying to manage it all, I am taking away their opportunity to act.

Action is necessary. Taking out bystanders in my path to act is hurtful.

Being a human is hard enough. Thoughtful, precise, and purposeful action based upon observation and reflection might be the kinder, more loving way to move us.

Be more like an eagle and less like a lion.

Peace. Awe. Wonder.
These are the emotions that come when you spot an eagle in the woods.
And that drive that causes you to look up. Look up.

 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

For more like this, check out Surrendered, Suffer well. and Mountains and Valleys.