February 25, 2011

Living the High Life

There are so many Christians who do not appreciate the magnificent dignity of their vocation to sanctity, to the knowledge, love and service of God. - Thomas Merton

Every day I take walks around my neighborhood.  It's good for me physically, socially and mentally.  It's a blessing to be able to stretch the old muscles and enjoy God's creation.  I go everyday that I am able, no matter the weather.  Daily walking is an important part of my life.

The other day I was looking into the sky, as I often do during my walks, and there was a most beautiful sight.  High above, maybe 1500 feet or so, was a large flock of Canadian Geese, about a hundred or more, in V-formations and heading north.  They were so high that I could barely hear the squawking sounds they were making to communicate with one another.  What made it so beautiful to me was the sight of birds in migration, doing what God created them to do instinctively - fly back north from their winter refuges to their northern homeland.  Shortly thereafter followed a second flock about a large, following the first.  Quite a sight!

As I continued my walk, thinking about the migration of birds, our local geese - about twenty of them - flew just over my head down the block to our neighborhood pond.  They remain here year round, and except for having to dodge their occasional droppings on the sidewalk, they are a joy to watch and have around.  Some of my neighbors feed them, and one man has even gone so far as to give them names. 

Our local geese are very unaware of their high flying relatives at this time of year.  Though the same breed, our local geese lead a very different existence.  They are not experiencing the fullness of their created, instinctual nature.  They have the ability to migrate, and God created them to do so, but for some reason have not taken to the high flights of every spring and fall.  Though nice to have around, it seems to me that they are missing out on such an important part of their existence and purpose.

Then I realized, some of us Christians are like local geese - never attaining to the fullness of life in Christ which we were meant to have.  So, I wonder what keeps so many of us from taking to the high skies?