I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, December 27, 2010

You Can't Fly Unless You Jump

I recall an adventure I took at Tallulah Gorge in Northern Georgia. Summer brought a breathtaking cover of rich, green foliage.

I climbed to the top of the gorge and gazed across to the other side, some quarter mile away. I imagined the rushing waters from the melting snows of thousands of spring times as they cut into the rock.
At the top of the highest tree on the far side of the gorge sat an eagle’s nest. Through binoculars, I watched as she surveyed her landscape. Soon, she rose up onto her strong talons, spread her enormous wings, and she jumped! Yep, she just jumped. Within seconds, this majestic predator soared over the gorge. Her shadow covered the width of the river below as she swooped down to pluck her dinner from the water. Truly remarkable.
I learned a lot from that eagle that day:
  • In order to see our entire world, we have to go to the top. She could have built a nest anywhere. She instinctively chose the top of the tallest tree at the highest point of the gorge. She was in control of her world because she positioned herself wisely.
  • In order to soar, we have to leave our comfort zone. Had she tried to fly while still in her nest, it would have ended in a tragic crash. Instead she intentionally stood above her surroundings, cleared the top, and then she spread her wings. By her own efforts, she became unhindered by her environment. She was free to soar.
  • Finally, even when a huge shadow falls over our world, we can still find a way to continue. She was able to pluck a nice, juicy trout out of the river below, even with her shadow announcing her arrival.

I’ll never forget my experience with Lady Eagle that day. She made me wish I had wings so I could freely soar above my world. Just as I did that day in the gorge, our readers and fellow authors are watching us through the binoculars of their souls. Every word we type is noticed. They silently record our commitment and writing habits. We’re facing a new year. The question is, what will we do with it? I hope you soar!


  1. This is such a great reminder, Reebs. Thanks for posting it. I didn't know eagles had to jump before they could soar. Stepping outside of our comfort zones allows God to use us in mighty, unexpected ways.

  2. Writing about eagles can be such a cliche, Reebs. But you helped me see with fresh eyes--and learn something new about eagles--and myself.
    Now, just bear with me while I haul myself up to that highest spot before I go jumping off!

  3. I've been in a shadow, now I need to find a way to soar. Thanks for the reminder as I prepare for a new year, new start. I loved this post, Reba!

  4. Awesome post, Reebs! And awesome lessons. Except...leaving my comfort zone...uhhhh...just kidding, it's a great lesson and something I generally need to be prodded into. But each time I do, something new and cool and sometimes even spectacular seems to be waiting for me.

  5. Beth, I'd have to say you've already hauled yourself up and jumped--from the non-fiction hilltop to the fiction. You'll soar, girl!

  6. I love this post, Reba! I learned a lot about eagles. :) I think one thing you said that stood out to me was: "She was in control of her world because she positioned herself wisely." As I'm pondering this, I am realizing that to be positioned wisely one must purpose to do this. it doesn't just happen. I want to position myself wisely in my daily living, and as I learn the craft of writing. I'm probably rambling, but thanks so much for expanding my thinking about eagles and about living. :)

  7. Gorgeous and inspiring sustained metaphor, Reba. I believe God has higher soaring and furthering seeing in store for all of us this year.

  8. I'm so proud of all the Ponderers have accomplished in 2010. I look forward to seeing all the exciting things we can write about this time next year!

  9. Amazing Reebs. Like Jeanne, I too took note of how "She was in control of her world because she positioned herself wisely." Exactly what I'm trying to do with my life. Amazing timing. The faithfulness of God continues to astound me.
    Alena T.

  10. Reebs, you always find a new way to say something that becomes completely unforgettable. Thanks for sharing, oh-lady-in-biker-shorts!