The season of LENT is upon us. Lent begins on March 5 (Ash Wednesday) and ends with Easter Day – April 20 this year. As we complete the days of Lent, we prepare for the wonderful news of Easter. The purpose of Lent is to be a season of fasting, self-denial, Christian growth, repentance, conversion, and simplicity. Lent, which comes from the Teutonic (German) word for spring-time, can be viewed as a spiritual spring cleaning: a time for taking spiritual inventory and then cleaning out those things which hinder our corporate and personal relationships with Jesus Christ and our service to Him.
Thus it is fitting that the season of Lent begin with a symbol of repentance: placing ashes upon on one’s head or forehead. However, we must remember that the disciplines of Lent are supposed to ultimately transform our entire person: body, soul, and spirit. These disciplines are meant to help us become more like Christ. Eastern Christians call this process theosis, which St. Athanasius aptly describes as “becoming by grace what God is by nature.” In short, Lent is the period of making changes or adjustments in our lives to be in line with God’s desire for holiness. With that in mind, I would like to share some information about the Eagle. It is no surprise that God uses the illustration of eagles in Scripture.
“The eagle has the longest life-span among birds. It can live up to 70 years, but to reach this age, the eagle must make a hard decision. In its 40’s, its long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey which serves as food. Its long and sharp beak becomes bent. Its old-aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, become stuck to its chest and make it difficult to fly. Then, the eagle is left with only two options: die or go through a painful process of change which lasts 150 days. The process requires that the eagle fly to amountain-top and sit on its nest. There, the eagle knocks its’ beak upon a rock until it plucks it out. After plucking it out, the eagle will wait for a new beak to grow back and then it will pluck out its talons. When its new talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking its old-aged feathers. After five months, the eagle takes it famous flight of re-birth and lives for 30 more years! Why is change needed? Many times in order to survive, we have to start a change process. We sometimes need to get rid of old memories, habits and other past traditions. Only freed from past burdens can we take advantage of the present. When it rains, most birds head for shelter; the eagle is the only bird that, in order to avoid the rain, starts flying above the clouds.”
God bless you this season of LENT.
But they that wait upon the LORD
shall renew their strength ;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary.