Fly Chicky, Fly!

We have two of the cutest little barn swallows just about ready to leave the nest. Their nest is made of mud and sits up under the eaves of the barn. It is low enough that we have a bird’s eye view, literally, of their adventures. They have gotten rather large so that they no longer fit into the nest very well. They are just kind of hanging out on the edge. They look for all the world like Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum from Alice in Wonderland.

This is the second family that the Swallows have raised this year so I am sure they are ready for a bit of a rest after these two fly the nest. I’ve heard that some junior birds are so reluctant to leave the nest that their parents have to peck at their feet to get them to let go of the branch they are clinging to. There are probably some human parents that feel much the same way!

It can be such a sweet deal living at home. Regular meals, warm bed, free rent. It’s no wonder that they linger. Life is a lot of work and requires a lot of personal responsibility. In fact, the more we grow and learn the greater our responsibilities become. Accountability increases exponentially with our gifts.

It makes me wonder whether we hold back sometimes in order to avoid added responsibility and accountability in our lives. Are there things we might do if it weren’t for the added burden of responsibility? Spiritually do I keep God at a distance because I’m afraid that I might be asked to give something up? Do I keep the Spirit out of my heart because I’m afraid that my life will be changed? It is so much easier to stay in the nest of the ordinary and familiar.

God literally wants to take us on an adventure outside of the confines of our beginner’s nest. It was a great place to start, but we eventually outgrow our nest. As a Christian Gnostic, I still love my church. I don’t plan on leaving it. But I do move beyond the doctrinal beginnings I learned as a child. They have taught me about a God I can trust to lead me on greater adventures with the Spirit. They have taught me to fly.

It is hard to admit, but the majority of folks like to stay in the nest, never moving beyond what they were first taught. The Apostle Paul, a Gnostic Christian, discusses this in the book of Hebrews where he talks to some Christians who had to stay on milk and not eat solid food. They kept going over the basics of what they had learned about Christ never progressing beyond the basic tenants of salvation to an adult walk with God. Paul was urging them out of the nest into a greater knowing of God (Gnosis).

When the Spirit becomes our Master Teacher we are safe outside of the nest. The Spirit can be counted on to teach us the truth and take us into a deeper knowing of God and of ourselves. It is easy for those who stay in the nest to have erroneous beliefs about flying. Many think it is dangerous—much safer to stay in the nest! But for anyone who has learned to trust God’s Spirit, they can testify that God is a reliable teacher and has much more in store for us than the small world of our beginner’s nest.

I can just picture our Divine Parents pecking at our feet, trying to get us to let go of our fears in order to move forward in life. We are just so comfortable with the regular meals, warm bed, and free rent. We like a life of limited responsibility. But God is anxious to grow us and bestow upon us greater and greater gifts. Of course, this will increase our accountability, but it will also increase our joy and service. Listen carefully and I think you will hear the voice of Spirit whispering to you, “Fly chicky, fly.”