Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hawking, Watching Nature's Irresistable Call

I do hope to enjoy the Northland this coming weekend with 'Eyes on the Skies: hawk watching for beginners,' a free program at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth. I have lived here for years and never taken advantage of this local program. Take a peak at the 'hawk count' for September - amazing! Last Monday alone, 8757 hawks were sited flying over the observatory! Here's a snippet from their website:
One of nature's remarkable spectacles can be witnessed each fall at Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve. Migrating raptors, originating from summer breeding areas as far north as the Arctic and with wintering destinations as far south as points in South America, concentrate in impressive numbers at the western tip of Lake Superior.

Most raptors are reluctant to cross large bodies of water. When they migrate south and encounter Lake Superior, the birds naturally veer southwest along the lakeshore. They concentrate in impressive numbers on the bluffs overlooking East Duluth and can be easily seen from the overlook at Hawk Ridge.
Reading this description, I have an impression in my mind of the instinct that must guide these birds of prey. Every year they are inexorably drawn to this same location, every fall, every spring. Something about their annual pilgrimage speaks to my heart. There is something so sure about it, so positive, unalterable, unyielding. Some instinct calling them on.

While not migratory, I can see the pull of a similar call in the life of our 14 year old. Watching him, as a 'pre-adult,' is interesting, terrifying, occasionally funny and problematic. No quite an adult, yet no longer a child, he walks a fine line between wanting to do only what he wants, keeping everything in his heart and head secret and still needing advice on the length of cooking time his food needs in the microwave. Yesterday he was home sick from school and when I got home from work his bedroom floor was covered in legos. I guess he's not that old yet... but I can practically see the momentum of his life picking up, pulling him, drawing and wooing him to adulthood. I can not stop it, it's unrelenting.

I feel a similar call in my own life. An unalterable, unyielding, unrelenting call to be better, to do more, to go deeper, with Jesus. It's like gravity, inescapable. I feel His pull and the more I know, the more I want to know, and the more I praise Him. This verse, with it's mysterious wording and raw, elemental forces of nature are closer to and better than any description I can give:
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.
Psalm 42:7
I don't know where this is taking me, I don't know what is next. I can tell you I'm excited. I know there is more, always more to know, more to learn, more to do. And it's building inside of me; an instinct to know and follow Jesus. It's instinctual. Further up and further in.
“Welcome, in the lion’s name. Come further up and further in… the further up and the further in you go, the bigger everything gets. The inside is larger than the outside.
C.S. Lewis – The Last Battle

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