Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Risk (05/17/12)
TITLE: To Soar Like an Eagle
By Helen Curtis
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"God, I cannot hear you when you speak, neither can I see nor feel you. The Bible says you exist; my friends say you don't. I feel as if I am stuck on a precipice of indecision; to trust in the lack of proof and side with my friends, or risk being taken for a fool and jumping off in blind faith. If you are real, I pray that you would reveal yourself to me today, and help me to make the right choice."
Rising from his knees he grabbed his jacket and proceeded on his customary Sunday morning hike along the high edge of a nearby gorge. He kept a steady pace and, reaching the summit with relative ease, allowed himself to sit and ponder the beauty that lay ahead of him. The sleepy sun was just starting to creep over the horizon, its rays like fingers that tickled the fluffy white clouds dotted around the azure sky. In all his years of walking this path, he'd never once seen anything quite like this.
From the corner of his eye he saw a movement; hidden in the shadows of the deep gully, not ten feet away, a magnificent eagle perched on a precipice. For the longest time it just sat; the man was mesmerised by its beauty, the obvious power hidden beneath the finery of its mottled wings. He was captivated by its stillness and then, whoosh, it seemed to leap off the rocky crag and free fall out of sight. Stunned by the bird's sudden departure the man tentatively leaned over the side of the cliff to look for any signs of life. Swoosh, the eagle soared into the glorious sky above. It remained at this height for some time, its outstretched wings like those of a glider; strong and reliable, unmoving.
As he watched the man became aware of two things; the freedom the eagle found in its aerial playground, and its courage to leap off the solid ground in the first place. And as he watched, he found these words forming somewhere deep within his spirit,
<i>Danny, you say you cannot see me nor hear me, and I am not tangible in the human sense of the word; but you are using your human senses. You, the real you, is spirit; and if you let me, I can give you the same freedom as this eagle. You see, every morning he stands on that very precipice and makes a choice to leap into the unseen void before him. He cannot see the currents and thermals that will make him fly, but he trusts that they are there. In taking the risk, he is able to soar higher than you can imagine.
Trusting in me, the great I Am, is exactly the same. The risk is great, and your life will change, but I assure you it will be worth it. If you put your faith in me you shall know strength and freedom like never before, and see the world from a perspective that you have only ever dreamed of.</i>
The man watched as the eagle blended into the horizon. Tears fell as he considered the words spoken to his heart; was he dreaming? surely God hadn't just spoken to him, a man of such little consequence? As he stood to make the journey home he noticed that the path seemed different; greener, more lush than he remembered. And it seemed to spark something from within; was it joy? peace? Not the kind that could be undone by the simplest of troubles, but a satisfaction like he'd never known before. Oh yes, the proof was now undeniable. Dropping his rucksack, he immediately returned to his knees.
"God, I don't know much about the spiritual world, but I know that I'm ready to jump. I'm tired of living in the dark shadows of the gully; I desperately want to soar like that eagle, high above the ground in the sunlight. This is risky for a level-headed bloke like me, but I'm willing to put my trust in you, and I know that you won't let me fall."
With that, he stood and took his first risky step towards God. He returned home and immediately searched for a local church he could attend that very day.
And like the eagle, he soared higher than he could ever have imagined.
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