Not long ago I came close to removing this post from the blog. But, something caused me to pause and make it private instead.
Today, the reason for that became more clear. The more time we spend seeking the quiet, the more the Holy Spirit takes the opportunity to teach.
I don’t pretend to understand why this blogpost is being reactivated – but I update and share this again in faith.
I have long loved the series The Chronicles of Narnia. But in The Voyage of The Dawn Treader, Lucy Pevensie is the focus of a scene that captivates my attention to this day….since this post was first published I have needed to come back and completely edit this intro. Let’s see what God and the Holy Spirit intend for me to share tonight – on this Christmas Eve.
I am a foreigner in this world. On a journey to fulfill the Father’s Will; as we all are.
On this night as we remember the birth of The One who gave All, may we have the strength through God’s gift of Yeshua to stand firm and continue Shining.
His name is Oil poured out…the one thing that nurtures and sustains us.
Onto the original post.
As a footnote, I still have ties to Seattle. I have family that still live there. It still carries a spiritual significance for me that is outside of familial bonds.
Who Am I?
I think this video is really important to start with. It doesn’t convey the complete scene but it’s the words he says (at about :55) that really matter. Video is less than a minute.
Being a native of the Seattle – Tacoma area, I’m somewhat familiar with its culture.
Western Washington is considered the more “hip,” an urban city – home of Coffee, the Hawks of football, The Space Needle and Pike Place among a hundred other notable sites.
Eastern Washington is the complete opposite. It is (or was) agrarian, rural farming communities set among a backdrop of open plains, rolling hills and sporadic micro-deserts depending on where you are standing in the state (starting in Ellensburg.)
This post is in part the result of a trip to the zoo on Saturday. But a larger puzzle piece involves revisiting a conversation I had with a teacher back in the 80’s. This conversation was the beginning of several that would redirect (I had no direction to begin with) where I would end up at college.
All my friends knew as Seniors where they were going to school after graduation. I had NO clue: Zip. Zero. Nada.
As August approached I realized, “Oh man, this is when school would typically resume – now what?!” Nobody had really ever asked me what my plans were or where I was going next. I was like Tumbleweed (in The Wilderness). That’s just how it was.
I finally went to register at the local community college. But I’m getting way ahead of myself and need to take one step back.
I don’t recall if it was my Jr or Sr year of High School but I was in Algebra. I had a rough time with pre-Algebra in 9th grade and was equally apprehensive about the subject. But as it turned out I LOVED Algebra and I’m sure my teacher’s teaching style, (I’ll call her Mrs Angel) just “clicked” with my learning style. As it were, my time in her class was another game changer.
I’m one of those “oddities” that liked High School but I acknowledge that home life was anything but a safe zone.
Mrs Angel was one of my favorites. Though I liked most of my teachers, too. I guess in some ways I looked at my teachers as “pseudo parents,” because home lacked the elements of a nurturing and protected environment.
I had been told by family that my teacher’s didn’t care about me, no matter what they or other staff said to the contrary. (And I chose not to believe that.)
My (future) sister-in-law had just finished Community College and transferred to UW. I kind of looked up to her as a role model. That’s when it suddenly dawned on me – hey, I’ll go to UW!
I was so excited about it – I bought a sweatshirt. Are you ready for this? It was bright yellow with an OVERSIZED embroidered purple husky on the front. (I had evidently overlooked the color combination during the purchase process.) And yes, you have my permission to laugh if you like…
I wore the yellow sweatshirt to school one day and walked into Mrs Angel’s math class.
Sitting at her desk, she took one look at me and at then at the shirt. Without hesitation she exclaimed: “What an ugly dog!”
Every time I reflect on that moment now – I practically burst out in laughter. It really was funny….
But, in that moment, I recall my eyes growing big and wide, thinking…
I took my seat in semi-shock and half paid attention in class – determined to get to the bottom of her “rationale.”
With class dismissed – I timidly approached her desk and asked, “Why did you refer to what I’m wearing as an ugly dog?”
She went onto explain that UW’s mascot is a husky (dog) and is rival to the cross-state mascot, “The Cougar,” representing WSU. This was where she and her husband had gone to school.
Until that moment, I’d never heard of WSU.
Without recounting the whole story now, I didn’t end up attending UW. Of all places, I ended up at WSU
I bring this up because of the Zoo trip. This was the first time I’d ever visited our local zoo and so many of the animals were awake and active..but especially the lions. It was really something to observe. almost all the different cats were wide awake, like agitated awake…pensive and prowling.
The Grizzly bear (I should have taken a photo) was asleep and couldn’t be bothered.
However, there was another set of animals that mesmerized me – and I have a short story to go with it.
This dates back to when I was still at Community college and my transfer was nearing. I usually took the city bus to campus and I loved talking with the bus drivers. Yeah, that’s me.
This particular day, the last question the driver asked me, I never saw coming.
“If you could be any animal – what animal would you be?”
In 19 years old no one had ever asked me that. I drew a blank and didn’t know what to say.
I didn’t want to say dog or horse and I kind of stared at the floor. Then shifted my gaze to the landscape passing by out the window.
“Eagle – I’d be a Bald Eagle.”
The driver looked at me in utter surprise as his eyes widened – obviously ready for further explanation.
Truthfully, I had no idea where the answer originated. I was just as surprised and contemplated what to say.
“An Eagle – stands on its own. It doesn’t have to answer to anyone (other than its maker). It’s the King of its domain. I want to fly high, soar where no one can reach me. Glide without restraint. No one messes with the Eagle. He’s symbol of power, protection, and Might. But, he’s majestic.” (Reader please note, these are not the words I wrote in my rough draft: these just came as I was typing.)
Today, at the zoo one of the exhibits contained: Bald Eagles. There were four of them. One was right in front of me (at the fence line). The Eagle at the fence made eye contact with me. It was SO COOL.
The other three were all perched higher on a rock. These birds were amazing up close.
I’m including Andy Chrisman’s song, “Believe ” with this post because about the time I started my walk with Yahushua…this WAS the very first song I ever heard.
When you get to the :35 mark, I had always thought the lyrics were “I live among the skybirds and the question is..” (I had always attributed this portion of the lyrics “the skybirds” to EAGLES) but the idea is still powerful.
To bring this story back around…I just realized something. If my life is in effect a reflection of who I’ve become then
Who I am may also be a reflection by association (of school mascots):
Elementary School: Trojan
Both Intermediate schools I attended had the mascot: Falcon
High School mascot: Warrior
College Mascots: Panther and Cougar (Lions)
And then add in to the mix my answer to the Bus Driver of: A Bald Eagle.
*Message from The Father to each of you reading this:
Many of you may not be aware of your purpose/destiny (which may be different from your vocation/career). If you do not know it…as part of seeking The Father…look back on your life and reflect on the common threads mentioned above as they apply to you. Ask Holy Spirit to help guide you and you shall receive.