Three Things I Learned

Today I learned three new things I never knew before:

  1. After finishing News of the World and reading a note from the author, I learned that children kidnapped by Native Americans on the Texas frontier who were then adopted by the tribes never wanted to return to their families. They quickly assimilated and, even when reunited with their original families, never readjusted back to their lives. I began to wonder what life was like for these adopted Native American children, and I spent time reading about how, most notably, life was all a spiritual experience for Native Americans. How different from our own childhoods. Every moment was spiritual and meant something spiritual. Everything in experience related to spiritual activity. This made me wonder about my own training to see all of life from the lens of divine activity and what a lost manner of living this quickly becomes.
  2. I learned that the crow and the owl are some of nature’s oldest rivals. I mention to a birding expert that I strangely saw an owl swooping down from the trees in the afternoon in my neighborhood. You feel chosen when you see an owl like this. The whole day becomes enchanted. “Well,” she asked, “Was it being chased?” I said, “Who would chase an owl?” and she said, “Crows.” I learn how they fight for nesting territory and how the sweet and majestic owl eats the crows’ babies. Horrified, I realized I cannot view owls the same. And I think of how sometimes the beautiful thing I’m seeing in nature might carry its own dark story. Beware!
  3. Finally, I read Spurgeon’s sermon “Hands Full of Honey.” With great delight I follow his teaching on Samson killing a lion and later finding honey in the carcass. Spurgeon encourages his congregation that sometimes we will find a lion on the path–some unexpected and overwhelming trial. With the power of the Holy Spirit, we will fight this lion. Later, we’ll find that in that very place of trail–within that carcass of pain–bees have come to make us the sweetest honey. And like Samson who gave the honey to his mother and father, we give of our sweet wisdom and joy to those around us.

Native Americans, owls, and honey. Living with flair means learning new things but then connecting them. If I realize that, like the Native Americans, every moment relates to something spiritual, I understand to take caution with those things that tempt me with their beauty or power–like the owl. And I consider how the trials of life will yield sweet honey that I can share with others.

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