Soaring Part 1

There are four general wing shapes that are common in birds: Passive soaring, active soaring, elliptical wings, and high-speed wings.

Passive soaring wings have long primary feathers that spread out, creating "slots" that allow the bird to catch vertical columns of hot air called "thermals" and rise higher in the air. Examples of birds with this wing type include eagles, most hawks, and storks. The Bald Eagle is a classic example of a bird with passive soaring wings.

Active soaring wings are long and narrow, allowing birds to soar, or fly without flapping their wings, for a long time. However, these birds are much more dependent on wind currents than passive soaring birds. Examples of birds with this wing type are albatrosses, gulls, and gannets. It’s up and-down flight style allows it to use small differences in wind speed to go long distances without using a lot of energy.

Elliptical wings are good for short bursts of high speed. They allow fast take offs and tight maneuvering. While they allow high speed, the speed cannot be maintained. Examples of birds that have this wing type are doves, crows, ravens, blackbirds, sparrows, and thrushes (such as the American Robin).

High-speed wings are long and thin, but not nearly as long as birds with active soaring wings. As the name suggests, birds with this wing type are incredibly fast, but unlike those with elliptical wings, these birds can maintain their speed for a while. Examples of birds that have this wing type are swifts, ducks, falcons, terns, and sandpipers.

This information was taken from birds.cornell.edu.

I am not “the bird lady” by any means (Doesn’t Mary Poppins come to mind right now? Ha Ha! Christie breaks into song “Feed the birds, tuppence a bag, tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag, “Feed the birds,” that's what she cries, while overhead, her birds fill the skies…”)

I am, however, the lady who finds herself CRAWLING way more than flying high, falling way short of the mark or the expectations that I believe my Creator had in mind when He thought about my existence on this planet.

Seriously, is this you or am I the only one? I CRAWL out of bed every morning, and like one of my friends said, “It’s going to be a really bad day if my kids are the ones waking me up.” You have to join the Mom’s Virtual Coffee Date on Saturday mornings to hear these stories! Mornings are tough for me for sure. I get out of bed with my eyes squinted, trying to offer a slight smile, but still thinking, “Don’t you dare even look in this general direction lest I think you have a need that I have to meet the very second I CRAWL out from under these soft, warm, sleepy covers.”

Then, I CRAWL to the kitchen to turn on my hot water boiler while making breakfast for two of my three. The third one enjoys sleeping in and man, I would enjoy that too, if only I were ten again. (Christie pauses to daydream for a moment.)

I CRAWL through the day, mentally too, not feeling the motivation I want to feel because I take everything a little too seriously on some days and that can be paralyzing.

Now, this is funny. Today, my seven-year-old kept needing my attention. How did I know, you ask? He kept saying, “Hey Mommy! Look! Followed by, “and you know what?” My husband even commented on this tonight. It was quite humorous. I had just about lost my mind, because not only was my seven-year-old EXTREMELY talkative today, we are having a new roof put on our house. Oh! The noise! It has been next to impossible to think a thought for two straight days. When my son said, “Hey Mommy! Look!” for about the fiftieth time today, I said, “Buddy, look! I am just sitting right here, right now!” and then I burst out laughing until tears began to stroll down my cheeks. My daughter looked so puzzled, because what I said made absolutely no sense! I was trying to order groceries online and he just kept talking, amidst hammering and shingles being thrown and the sounds of what could have been bombs going off on my roof top… the workers playing music so loud it was coming down our chimney right into our living room like we had turned the radio on full blast…It was just too much and I just started laughing until I cried.

While we all laughed together in the end, that “Hey! Nothing is going my way right now and I am crawling” feeling, had crept in again and had several times all throughout the day. I ask myself, “When am I going to start soaring already?”

The reason I just keep feeling this unrelenting pulling inside is because I know the scripture that says, I shall mount (to go up, to stir up (mentally), to be offered) up with wings as Eagles. (Isaiah 40:31) Those passive soaring wings are a good choice for rising higher. Rising higher means not getting stuck in the weeds or the swampland of my thoughts. Not to mention, Eagles are known for their strength and swiftness of flight. I want to be that EAGLE! I want to soar! I am seriously going to tell my children tomorrow when they ask me any question at all (and I probably field next to a hundred questions a day), that “I just need to wait on the Lord.” Wouldn’t that be a funny response? I will probably not be able to get the words out without laughing so hard, and they will think I’ve lost it again.

Let’s think about how we get our high-flying wings. The scripture also says, “They that wait upon the Lord (waiting on the Lord means to be bound together with, tied to, expecting something of, hoping, being twisted together with) shall renew their strength. Then, it appears that the flying begins. That must be what I am missing! Maybe I am not tying myself to hoping in Christ enough? Eeeek!

(Philippians 3:13-15 says, “13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

I know we can't live in our past and today, I can't beat myself up over all the crawling I did. That wouldn't do anyone any good. So, first I am reminded, by this scripture, to stop looking behind and start looking ahead. Got it! Now, what?

Verse 15 says, “Let us therefore be thus minded (to forget the past and reach toward the future) and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, “God shall reveal even this unto you.” I love it when this happens. It’s a stirring that begins to take place inside of me, and I can’t help but do a long drawn out two-week study on the birds in the Bible and their wing shapes. Maybe I REALLY HAVE lost my mind you guys!!!

I think I’ll just leave this here, and next week write a Part 2, because I have so much more to share and I know your time is valuable.

Maybe you want to join me on this journey? Here are a few scriptures that you might like to look over to come up with your own thoughts about ways you can stop crawling and start soaring.

The word “wings” is mentioned 76 times in 64 verses in the KJV. Not all of these refer to the wings of birds, but I will share with you the scripture locations that I found most interesting related to this study I have begun:"

Deuteronomy 32:11
Psalms 17:8
Psalm 36:7
Psalm 55:6
Psalm 57:1
Psalm 61:4
Psalm 63:7
Psalm 91:4
Isaiah 8:8
Isaiah 40:31
Jeremiah 48:40
Malachi 4:2