“oh you of little faith, why do you doubt” Matthew 14:31
When birds fly, they tend to fly upward or steady and straight. It is rare to spot a bird coming toward us or flying down toward the ground. If it is headed in that direction, most likely it is plunging unwillingly and might need help when it reaches the ground.
Also, when going on a new trip, we are usually accompanied by the Waze app or Google maps. The driver more often than not trusts the GPS and the direction it is giving. Because after all the GPS cant know otherwise.
One day at Mass, as the pews were being filled with good looking families, young and old, an uninvited guest joined the congregation. The church was not that large but its dome shot clear up the altar and was adorned all around with beautiful stain glassed windows. the little feathered friend must have lost his way and looked alarmed at the sudden enclosure. Instinctively he flew up toward the peak of the dome. Mass had begun and the Gospel was being proclaimed but half the church was too distracted by the poor creature and the priest took notice. “The Gospel of the Lord” he said, a little louder than usual. “I am the way” he began his homily.
The bird is obviously stuck, he is scared and fluttered. But it has chosen to panic above without looking down to notice the wide open door underneath him. How many of us can relate? We walk through the doors of life and immediately gravitate toward the fulfillers of want. Our senses lead, our emotions lead, our intellect leads, with all these guides we are sure to embrace many things. Our thirst for knowledge instinctively leads us to education, emotions lead toward the search for happiness, our senses find their way to natural satisfactions. But how often do we allow the heart to lead? The “norm”, the “common”, the “usual” is our bread and butter, it is our comfort and pride.
” look at that bird, it’s doing the only thing it knows how, it is flying upward. Flying in any other direction seems contrary and near impossible to even consider . . .” father continues, “if he does not give up his seeking and bow down to what is beneath him, he will die in his stubbornness. We can call out to him all we want, he will not listen if he is not open to hearing our voice.”
Death is inevitable, but life is a choice. Life is given and offered but it is not forced upon us. God opens the door but we choose to cross its threshold. The only requirement is to listen to Him; to his guidance as our companion on the journey we travel. If we can so easily surrender our trust to Siri, Waze or Google maps when traveling the unknown road, why do we find it so hard to trust the creator of the spiritual road we travel? He will ask us at times to take an unexpected turn. He will ask us to step out of the “norm” and walk in a different direction. When he does, we suddenly find ourselves in the position of the churchgoing creature, and we ask “will I look down, will I bow, will I become humble and redirect?
Jesus called Peter out of the boat, “He said,’Come'” and at that moment Peter had a choice to make. Would he leave the safety of his boat or would he risk his life to do the absurd, and walk on water?
Jesus calls us, He wants to guide us, he is attempting to grab our attention. His still small voice is not found in the fulfillers of want. His voice is not in the things our senses gravitate toward. We can hear but do we choose to listen. We can know him but do we choose to accept him. If we do not; our stubborn pride will accompany us to the end of time.