About four weeks ago, I wrote about the Barn Swallows that had built a nest just above the side door of the church.
In that article, I wrote about how the mother bird was keeping me hemmed-in, or trying to scare me away from her nest.
Last week I saw the young birds for the first time. There were two of them and they were perched on the edge of the nest looking down at me. The little birds had feathers and looked like they were almost ready to fly.
One joking comment was made that they were either working-up the nerve to try and fly, or trying to decide who should go first.
Today we saw them flying, but on the attempted return to the nest, one of them flew into the church window. It was not injured, flew away, and later returned. I guess he came in a little too fast on approach.
I started thinking about how we humans learn in much the same way. At some point, we get “pushed” out of the nest and must learn to fly. But, being new at flight, we crash a bit here and there. Eventually, we get the hang of it, but we always have more to learn. Spiritual life and growth are also the same.
In our spiritual journey, which is a lifelong experience, we experience moments of jumping, falling, or being pushed out of the nest. Then we do our best to learn to fly, but we still crash, or at least miss our approach here and there.
Finally, we achieve stability; until the next go round. Even in, or especially in our spiritual life, we should expect to be growing. Stagnation is poisonous to our emotional, physical, and spiritual lives. Therefore, change (that is to say, growth) must be welcomed.
Along with change comes a learning curve. Each time this curve begins, we will find ourselves forced to leave the comfort and safety of the nest, learn to fly, learn to land, and find stability.
If we are working toward the goal of being more like Christ, we will be constantly changing (growing) throughout our journey on this earth. Being “transformed” by “the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2) requires being willing to make and accept change as it becomes necessary.
What happens to many people is that they become discouraged or frustrated when faced with change. There is fear of giving-up something familiar, of trying something new, or of stepping into the unknown.
As the seasons change, so do humans. Our task is to manage change in a way that creates healthy, positive results. Onward and upward!
Blessings and Peace to you,
Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.