Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Seen Any Eagles Lately?

Last week I was driving by the lake on my way to work when I noticed movement in the sky. My first thought was that a hawk was chasing a smaller bird, but I slowed down (thankfully there was no traffic behind me) and realized it was a bald eagle chasing a gull.

Yes, we have a few bald eagles living in central Ohio. I’ve seen a nest way up on a power tower, and news of our pair even made the local paper. About two years ago, I was seeing an eagle along my road perched almost every evening on the same dead tree beside the lake. Then that tree went down in a storm and I hadn’t seen the eagle again. I started to wonder if the eagles had moved on, but I wasn’t out with my binoculars hunting them down. They were still there all the time, I just wasn’t looking.

There are other animals in our area that my neighbors swear are out there, but I haven’t seen them. I had thought a pair of coyotes may have moved out since I hadn’t seen them for nearly two years. But around Thanksgiving I saw a big one strolling on our farm. I still haven’t seen any bobcats or black bear, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. I just need to start looking harder.

How many things are like this in life? We know they are probably out there, but we don’t take time to get off the beaten path we are on and start looking.

How much could our life experience be enhanced if we’d just try a different flavor of ice cream, drive another route home, make a new friend, etc.? How much could our spiritual life be rejuvenated if we’d just try reading a different part of the Bible instead of our “favorite” passages, if we visit another church for a special service, join a new study group, etc.? How much could our writing be revitalized if we attend a writer’s conference, learn a new research method, join a new critic group, etc.?

It is when we get into a routine that we stop seeing the new and amazing things that are all around us.

My challenge to you this week is to get off your beaten path and start looking for new experiences that could very well jolt you out of a rut you may be spinning in.



(who lost 5 pounds during her first week of cleansing)


Mary Connealy said...

I feel like this message is just for me, Becky. Saturday night my husband and I went out for supper to celebrate the arrival of my books. We talked about the usual stuff, work, the kids, our upcoming anniversary, but we mostly just ate.
It was fine but I realized I just had NOTHING to talk about. I mean we talk everyday.
I work eight hours a day at a job with almost no personal interaction. I help my adult GED students with their studies but I don't visit with them.
I have no co-workers.
I talk to people on-line so that's something. But I never hang around with women friends, I don't belong to organizations other than internet writer. I'm really isolated in a lot of ways.
I think that makes me boring and I'd think that'd be reflected in my work.
Of course this quiet life leaves me a lot of time to write, which is what I do all the time!
I think I need to broaden my world a little. Maybe book signings will help.

Christine Lynxwiler said...

Whoo-HOO on the five pounds, Becky! But wow, you know how to hit where it hurts. Right before I went to bed last night (ok, technically the wee hours of the morning) I thought, I'm working so hard and it feels like I'm spinning my wheels, like I'm down in a rut. My husband has been telling me that I need to make time to take a walk each day, if for nothing else, just so I can remember what the world looks like. I think I'll try it today! Thanks for the encouragment!

Jess said...

This is a great post. Sure hit home with me. My world has been so small with just my husband and my daughter. We've never been socializers, just sort of enjoyed each other's company. We always looked at it as -- time is short and we need to have fun with each other/love and enjoy each other as much as possible while we can. Now, dh is in Scotland and my daughter is at Seminary in N.O. and I find myself getting out more with church friends and writer friends. I used to avoid anyone who wasn't interested in writing...had nothing to say to them because writing was all I knew. I'm finding I actually LIKE non-writers. I can feel my brain as well as my heart growing!
But Mary, I wish you were here in Louisiana. I'd love to run and play and write and brainstorm with you!

Mary Connealy said...

We're not socializers either. I think that's a great way to put it. Is that common? Is that a writer's thing or a long time married couples thing, or a Christian thing? Or is it just ME AND JESS?
p.s. Judging by the snow drifts, I'm about as far from Louisiana as a human being can get.

Becky said...

HUGS to you Mary

Mary Connealy said...

Well, I created a slide show of my book today. I think it's okay. I posted it on my myspace page and my blog.
Except for the bald spots where I tore my hair out doing it WRONG a hundred times, I'm feeling pretty good.
I think the hair will grow back in time for the February signings, right?

Kristy Dykes said...

Great challenge, Becky, to do something different, off the beaten path. Well, yesterday, that happened to me. I'd just fixed lunch for us: me, Milton, and a deacon from our church who was setting up a new printer/scanner for me, and the phone rang. Parishioners in distress in the E.R. Could we come? We rushed down there and sat for three hours, praying some to try and bring some calm to the awful situation, talking to them, even walking down halls together to help with the horrible waiting.

Then, last night during prayer meeting, an elderly lady conked out and we had to call 911. Paramedics rushed in. Milton led us in prayer as they worked on her.

This was a day out of the beaten path. But now that I think about it, it really wasn't, because as pastors, you just never know what the day will bring you.

Kathy Cretsinger said...

Becky, I am new to all this, not yet gotten my first book published, but you did encourage me to spend sometime for myself to see the wonders that God made. It always helps. If nothing else, it clears your mind.

Your blogs are encouraging to me. May God bless you in your work.