Monday, March 10, 2014

Carry One Another's Burdens By Elaine Barnes

Amazing thoughts from my awesome wife.

I was driving to school this morning and saw a sight that puts a smile on my face and warmth in my heart and soul. No, it wasn't the local coffee shop - although with daylight savings time I could use an extra cup or two of coffee. A flock of birds were flying in form through the morning sky.  I get excited about this because it means winter really is coming to a close. Spring is FINALLY on the way.
The polite horn honking behind me, brought my eyes from the sky and to the road in front of me telling me the light had turned green. It was time to stop my bird watching for the morning. The V-shape flock stuck in my mind as I drove and I've been contemplating the amazing form and teamwork migrating birds posses.
By working together and flying in form, birds cover 70% more distance than flying alone. The V-shape reduces air resistance allowing for lower heart rates and more stamina. If you have more time than I did this morning to bird watch, you'll notice that the mama birds must have trained their young'uns to take turns when growing up. They switch out positions and take turns leading and following. The lead birds have the most wind resistance against them with no one in front to give a current to ride on. As they grow tired they switch and fall back into line allowing them to rest on the strength of others.
What's even more amazing... if a bird gets hurt for whatever reason and falls completely out of formation, two other birds will do the same. They provide help by coming along beside and giving the air flow needed for that bird to fly slower with less resistance. This continues until the wounded one can once again fly with the flock.
Could there be a more perfect picture of how we are supposed to carry out this verse in our lives: Carry one another's burdens - Galatians 6:2
Maybe if we all pointed for the same direction, and found those who had wisdom and strength to share ahead of us, and we took our wisdom and strength to share with others... we could get 70% farther than we ever could on our own. Maybe if when we became weary from the journey we could get with others and allow them to carry us for a little while, and what an honor to BE those friends with the privilege to carry another one through.
What about when one of us is truly wounded? When they fall out completely from the flock. When life has taken one of us down and they are struggling to fly at all ... If we are going to carry one another's burdens we can't just keep flying and hope they'll catch back up. But what about our lives, our schedules, our responsibilities? we have places to go, things to do and a deadline to do it all in! If we take time to carry another, we'll get behind on those things. It would be hard work too. We would have to leave a flight pattern that may be smooth sailing and become the strong one who offers an easier current for someone else.
The beautiful thing about this calling on our lives is that we never have to rely on our own strength to offer someone else the help they need. At any point in our formation, no one person is relying on themselves, but it's the strength God gives each of us, that flows out of us to others. Philippians 4:13 says, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I believe that includes the strength to step out and be there for those around us who need us to break the V-shape and fall out with them until the wounded one can once again fly with the flock.
On this journey to our warmer, more inviting home - we each get the opportunity and responsibility to be in the lead position ... let's watch for an even greater opportunity and responsibility to be those who fall out and carry another.

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