A Parable from Ketchikan

One morning a fisherman saw a strange and wondrous sight.
“What is this I see that rivals Moses’ bush?” says he.
Upon rowing a tad closer he wondered some more.

“tis surely not a duck or goose swimming against the waves, but tis an eagle I see”
From his skiff he watched as a bald eagle beat it wings against the waves

“Is that white-crowned king confused that he should try to fly on the sea?”
The eagle flapped and fluttered, struggling to reach the shore.

“Mayhaps an injury keeps it from flight, perhaps that is the key.”
The old fisherman rowed closer striving to arrive in time to help the bird.

“Slice the waters JuBob, part the waves and let us closer be.”
Just then a kindly wave pushed the eagle to shore

“Ah, glory be”
The fisherman exclaimed

“The mystery tis solved, the king of the air has captured a king of the sea”
Firmly held in the talons grasp was a prince of salmons, a silver king.

“Too burdened was the king of the air to soar above the sea.”

The above is inspired by an eyewitness account of just such an occurrence.  Not far from Ketchikan Alaska a bald eagle was seen seemingly trying to swim.  Like my feeble attempt at poetry, the eagle had captured a large king salmon which was too heavy for it to lift.  Unwilling to let go of its prize it struggled to land the large fish.  According to the guide that witnessed the event, with video to prove it, the eagle did make it to shore and feasted on the large catch that nearly claimed its life.

We too can be like that eagle.  However, our burden is not salmon but the sins, cares, wounds, and brokenness that keep us from soaring. The writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1, NASB95)  The choice to be free is ours to make.  Whether we tenaciously grasp those things that weigh us down or release them to Jesus’ care, forgiveness, and healing is our choice.  We choose to swim against the waves instead of soaring above them.  The issue is one of desire.  The eagle in the story desired its catch more than the freedom of flight.  Whether we recognize it or not we too may desire to hold onto the sin, the past, the wounds, or the brokenness instead of seeing that Jesus has something much better in mind.  

The psalmist put it this way, “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday.” (Psalm 37:4–6, NASB95)  Some may interpret “He will give you the desires of your heart” as meaning that God will grant us whatever our heart desires. Some see God in the same light as Aladdin’s genie or a wishing well. I like to look at it the other way, that God will replace the desires of my heart with that which is according to His will and His way. In that way, I do get the desires of my heart but they are desires that allow me to soar and to glorify God. John reminds us, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” (1 John 5:14–15, NASB95)  

Dale Heinold
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