Friday, May 15, 2009

The Sparrow and the Hawk

As I was driving along the highway yesterday, I saw a tiny little sparrow chasing a giant hawk. I've seen this many times before, a small bird chasing another much larger bird, many times. It never ceases to intrigue me.

The small bird is defending it's nest and it's eggs or young from the larger predator. The larger bird would usually be the one hunting the smaller bird. In this case, however, the little bird has found a reason to rise up and express it's inner power. Protecting one's young is a valid reason for claiming one's strength!

When we find a good enough reason, we can unearth strength and courage that we didn't know we had! We can 'take on' challenges that normally would seem frightening and impossible.

In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana (Harrison Ford) is put into a terrible position. His father is critically wounded, and Indiana's only chance to save him involves facing incredible life threatening obstacles. These challenges are something he otherwise would probably not be willing to face. For the love of his father, however, he is willing to face them all.

The really powerful challenge that he faces is the invisible bridge across a giant chasm. Falling into it would mean certain death. Indiana becomes aware that he must take a step into the void of the chasm before the bridge will appear. He has to have the faith to take that step, with no visible bride in sight, in order to have a chance to get across the giant chasm. With no assurances, he has to take the risk and face his fear that he might die.

Often in life, we are the sparrow that has to take on a hawk. Other times we are Indiana Jones and we need to take a leap of faith in the service of a larger goal.

When we did deep inside ourselves, we can find the faith and the courage to meet any of life's challenges. Often we do this on behalf of others. My hope for us all is that we find a way to locate these qualities for ourselves as well!