Life is meant to live, not just survive

By Joan Clayton: PNT Religion Columnist

Eagles have always fascinated me. Their courage, bravery and strengths are inspiring. No wonder the eagle is our national symbol.

Eagles build their nests high among the timberline. When the time comes to teach the eaglets to fly, the mother eagle stirs up the nest. The eaglet stumbles out in the process without a parachute, but mother eagle doesn’t abandon her child. At just the right time she swoops down and catches her offspring on her wing and flies back to the nest. The lessons are repeated until the eagle can soar.

Parents have prayed many prayers for their children that they too will soar in life like the eagles.

Eagles live lengthy, vigorous lives. After a certain period of time, eagles molt and renew their youth. “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar like wings on eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV).

The eagle’s swiftness of flight reminds me of Psalm 143:9: “Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies. I flee unto thee to hide me.” (KJV)

In times of trial, I run to hide under the “shadow of the Almighty.” He is my fortress and refuge. When fainthearted and weary God holds me up like eagles’ wings.

“Every one of you has seen what I did to the people of Egypt. You saw how I carried you out of Egypt, as if on eagles’ wings. And I brought you here to me” (Exodus 19:4 NCV). When stumbling and falling, the Lord keeps lifting up his children until they too learn to soar.

The eagle builds its nest on a high mountain cliff. We build our hopes and dreams in God, our “high” tower. There we are safe. “For you are my refuge, a high tower where my enemies can never reach me” (Psalm 61:4 TLB).

God has created eagles to soar among the mountaintops. I believe he created you and me to do the same thing. We sometimes allow the problems of life to “clip” our wings resulting in frustration. Allowing past hurts, trials and bitterness to hold us back, we miss a lot of living. To not forgive someone is like harboring a bitter poison. If I have a forgiving spirit, I can always find something to be thankful for in the offense.

Someone has defined forgiveness as the “scent flowers give when they are trampled on.”

I cannot live wrong and die right. There is no guarantee for tomorrow. Today is the day of salvation. The depths of God’s love for each one of us is indescribable. To commit to him is life’s highest calling. It is the way to peace and the purpose of life. Hope can never be lost, for believers have a God of endless hope. In him is a love that can never be fathomed, an eternal life, a blessed life, a peace that passes all understanding, a joy that gives strength, a hope that cannot be taken away, a glory that can never be clouded, a treasure of faith of immeasurable wealth and a light that never goes out.

The light of the glorious gospel is an eternal flame, lighting the way for the hopeless soul. The same one who triumphed at Calvary paved the way for you and me.

Many of us go to the grave without really enjoying life to the fullest. Life is meant to live, not just survive.

Discover God’s goal and purpose for your life and pursue that purpose with diligence and commitment.

Rise up in Jesus and soar with the eagles.

Those who follow Jesus fly with joy on wings of love.
Embrace those heavenly moments.

As for me, I love to fly!

Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and religion columnist living in Portales.