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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)

TITLE: The Flying Lesson
By Gail Blackwell


One morning as I was seated at my kitchen table enjoying my first cup of coffee, I was given a unique lesson on motherhood. From the corner of my eye, I noticed activity on the roof of my porch. As I focused my attention, I was thrilled to see a flying lesson in progress.

A family of sparrows had a nest under the eaves. The mother bird had chosen that day to teach her young ones to fly. I watched in amusement from my front row seat, as she first demonstrated the process and then encouraged her babies to run to the edge of the roof and jump off.

Apparently baby birds have different personalities just like human babies. Some of those scruffy little birds ran fearlessly to the edge hoping for the best and jumped right off, flapping their little wings furiously. When they landed on the ground they continued to practice the flapping, gaining strength and jumping a little higher each time.

One baby, however, was more hesitant than the others. He needed lots of coaxing. He drew a deep breath and ran as fast as he could to the edge of the roof where he came to a screeching stop. He curled his tiny feet around the shingle and peered over the edge. He just couldn’t do it. Turning around, he ran just as quickly back to the nest. His only hope was that his mother would let him stay there.

Not easily discouraged, the mother bird coaxed him out of the nest again and this time ran behind him, determined he would follow her instructions. Once again he stopped and peered fearfully down at his siblings. They were having so much fun flapping and jumping, but he was unable to muster the courage to take that final leap.

This process was repeated over and over until at last, probably with his eyes squeezed shut in fright, he jumped and flapped those little wings for all he was worth. Success at last! He was doing what he was designed to do…flying. What freedom! What a sense of accomplishment! What hopeful results! As he fluttered to the ground, I could almost imagine him boasting to his brothers and sisters, “Nothing to it.”

What a refreshing look into the task of motherhood. No two children are alike. Some are bold, fearless and filled with great hope. Others only need a little push in the right direction. But there are often those children who require more attention, more instruction, more coaxing. They come into this world fearful and dependent, but it is a mother’s job to teach them to trust, to hope, to try new things.

A mother knows there is a world of potential in each child, and she’s dedicated to the task of helping them unlock that potential. What an awesome responsibility and privilege to teach her children to spread their wings and fly. As she watches each one leave the nest, she fervently hopes and prays they will “mount up with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31 NASB) and become all that God designed them to be.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie OConnor05/12/06
Great title, great message, sweet story. Very well done.
Edy T Johnson 05/13/06
What a perfect Mothers' Day story! This is going in my "favorites!"
Helen Paynter05/15/06
Lovely piece - really touched my heart. Thank you
Rev. Toni Brown05/15/06
I enjoyed this story. Being a mother is both difficult and rewarding.