Friday, April 16, 2010

The Eaglets

“Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles” -Isaiah 40:31

Eaglets are helpless. Like most newborn’s, they are vulnerable and awkward. They desperately need their mothers and experts say the mothers are fully committed to the early welfare of their young.

The young eaglets lay in the nest for a long time. As they grow and mature, the mother defends them from any intruders that might seek to harm the young.

But as time passes, the eaglets outgrow the nest and the mama eagle knows it’s time for them to go. I’m sure the eaglets remain cozy in that nest, their every need provided by mom, but even an eagle knows that it’s important for the young eagles to learn to provide for themselves. That’s when it’s time for the eaglets to learn to fly and a peculiar process begins.

That same loving, caring mama eagle begins to make life difficult for the young eaglets. Experts say the eagle stirs up the nest, forcing the eaglets to leave, but does not abandon the young. If they have difficulty, the mother bird swoops below them and lifts them back to safety. But still, research shows that nearly 40% of eaglets don't survive their first flight. Predators and height are there enemies. But most do survive and they learn to live on their own.

My precious daughter Elizabeth is in her last few days of pregnancy. She is due any day now. Talking to her last night, we both decided that baby Reese (she’s having a girl) is cozy inside of Elizabeth. All, I mean all, of her needs are provided. She’s laying there on her water bed, feet propped up and taking in every meal through a straw.

But life isn’t lived to it’s fullest in a nest or a womb. Though it’s easy, it’s not best. Eagles are meant to soar and fly and babies are meant to grow and learn. Sure, it’s risky, but the rewards are awesome.

As a parent, don't forget to let go. Don't forget to “stir that nest” a bit and encourage your teen to risk. It’s through that very process that teenagers take responsibility for their own lives and their own faith and learn to fly on their own.

By Joseph Staples ©

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