13 December 2011

How do they do that?

Driving home after dropping the kids off at school the other morning, I was sitting - waiting, parked on the bridge - all traffic had stopped due to some government official moving about the city. During the thirty minutes or so that I sat there, I entertained myself by listening to the Zarma conversations going on all around me, trying to pick out the bits and pieces I could understand... and watching flocks of birds. I don't ever remember noticing dancing movements of a flock of birds before. We've enjoyed watching the bats wake up and fly down the river to begin their nightly foraging. We often will watch individuals, pairs, parents feeding little ones still in the nest. And when a flock of parakeets nests in the tree right outside out bedroom window, their raucous early morning racket destroys any hope of sleeping in.

But I don't remember ever watching, studying, a flock actually acrobating in synchronization through the sky. It is simply breathtaking... amazing!

The Holy Spirit started speaking whispering... the image of those birds imprinted in my imaginings.

A friend came over to visit the other morning. As we were talking (and eating chocolate peanut butter ice cream - homemade and quite yummy, if I say so myself!), the subject of those birds invaded our conversation... the beautiful, intricate, startling marvelousness of their singular-as-if-choreographed motion. She too had spent some time on the bridge, waiting... and watching the birds.

The Holy Spirit was no longer whispering... felt a lot more like a gentle elbow. I'm currently teaching a series on marriage and our responsiblities as women and wives within that relationship to the ladies on our church and the seed of an idea, perhaps an illustration to which these women would be able to relate, began to germinate. After all, if I'd noticed the birds, my friend then remarked on them... even as I was looking for the below video, Tim commented that he'd been watching the flocks over the river, too. I've definitely tucked that idea away for later...

As I've watched this video several times now, it is absolutely mind-boggling how each bird moves independently... even large portions of the flock go in varying directions at different times... yet the flock still moves as a single, cohesive whole. And while scientists don't understand all of the reasons why birds flock and fly like this, they do know that one function this behavior serves is protection from predators.

I started thinking, wondering... might this be an illustration of what biblical unity looks like?  
What about you? What do you think?
I'd love to read your thoughts!

"Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents... if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant..." (Phil 1:27-28a, 2:1-5)

1 comment:

  1. maybe the birds are dancing in praise to their Creator? Beautiful thoughts on unity!! Thank you for sharing this!


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