Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Of Catfish, Eagles and Crows

For we know we know that every creature growneth and travaileth in pain, even till now.  Romans 8:19

Yesterday, a 10” long channel catfish fell from the heavens with a heavy thud as it landed on my neighbors’ driveway, wiggling, wet, and very much alive.  Had I not seen it myself, I’d think this fish tale was just a bit too fishy!  Yet, there it was.  Sometimes, the oddest things happen, rare even, almost unbelievable.  And, when this odd circumstance occurred, it seemed to reflect a state in my life.

As it turns out, the oddity of the circumstance was easily understood- if you had the benefit of the events that immediately preceeded it.  There was a great deal of squawking and cawing overhead.  A magnificent bald eagle, catfish in tow (or talon I suppose) was flying overhead, relentlessly pursued by two crows.  The crows were diving, attacking and harassing the eagle, presumably because they wanted to steal the eagles meal.  The eagle, distracted by his current circumstance, loosened his grip on the slippery, wiggling soon-to-be meal, relinquishing the fruit of the thing for which he was designed(he’s a bird of prey, after all).  In a sense, he let go of his destiny, no doubt groaning and travailing in the pain of what would become an empty stomach.

At times in my life, I wonder, “How did I get here?” or maybe more accurately, “How did I get in this mess?”.  I’ll pray, “Father, where did I miss You?”.  As I pondered this in the light of a catfish in the driveway, I found a connection.    The imagery is perfect.  Crows have long been associated with evil and darkness.  And, of course, who among us doesn’t want to “soar like an eagle”. How many times have I let go of God’s destiny for my life because I was distracted by crows?  More than I can count, and more than I know.

Those crows had no intention of a full on frontal assault of the eagle.  They were perfectly aware of the power, strength and weaponry of the eagle.  Their plan was to distract, confuse and harass the eagle.  They made noise.  They feinted attack, constantly approaching from the eagles blind spot.  Eventually, distracted, and perhaps tired, the eagle let go of the prize.  In the end, the eagle ended up with nothing but an empty belly for all his effort, for seemingly accomplishing the thing for which he was designed.  Did the crows really want the catfish?  No, they continued to harass that eagle, leaving the fruit of the birds destiny to wriggle and die in the driveway, coming to waste and nothingness.

So, where are the crows in your life?  What are the crows in your life?  Around what circumstances to do you become confused?  When do you feel harassed?  What are the voices that speak failure, despair and condemnation in the lonely and disconnected moments of your life?

Every person who pursues God encounters ‘crows’.  The enemy is driven to cut us off from our destiny, from our purpose, from Jesus.  All of creation groans in the pain of separation from the heart of God.  If we have the eyes to see, we can understand the battle, understand the adversary, and see the path to victory.

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