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Copyright for the journal © 2005
M. S. Thirumalai
YEAR OF THE EAGLE?
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31)
WE AMERICANS love the image of the eagle. (The bald eagle is especially appealing to me.)
Vision, strength, speed, focus, and the ability to soar to great heights, stir something deep within us.
Like a Michael Jordan on the basketball court, the eagle seems to do everything so effortlessly and with such grace. Gravity holds no power over the eagle. He makes nature work for him rather than against him.
We admire strength and if, like Tim the Tool Man, we think we have it, we like to demonstrate it (oh, ho, ho, ho). When our strength begins to fail, we cherish its memory.
Promises of eternal youth have appealed to every generation - either to maintain or to regain it. The popularity of health gyms tells us that, though the search for the legendary Fountain of Youth has been abandoned, we love the feeling, the image, even the illusion of being young.
Eventually, though, we get to the point where we admitů
I liked to think I could soar through the air.
Now I'd settle for help to get out of my chair.
And we realize that's not such a bad place to be.
Scripture speaks of the strength and the stamina of the young, but reminds us that youthful strength often fails, for it trusts in itself. When we hope in the Lord we find a source of renewed strength that enables us to see above the problems that are too hard to handle alone.
We've gotten used to the idea of renewal. We renew our driver's license, our magazine subscriptions, our membership cards, our marriage vows, our commitments, and, hopefully, we can learn to renew our strength.
The New Year is a time for renewal. For the next four (not three unless you count 0 to 9 instead of 1 to 10) years, we are on a countdown toward the beginning of a new century and a new millennium. How does that affect us? Will it bring peace to our troubled planet? A new world order? The end of the age? The completion of the Great Commission?
I approach New Year's Day a little differently than some do. It's my birthday. I become a year older. Fifty-five this year. Some call that young, some call it old - it's all a matter of perspective. (I don't hear anyone saying "middle-aged" anymore so I opt for young.) But while the New Year starts a new cycle, time marches relentlessly on a straight line with no regard for how I feel about it. (At least I get the day off.)
Where will I place my hope this year? Where will you place yours? Does anyone still believe that politicians will improve our life? Does technology really make it better? Can the surgeon who gives our face a lift do anything for a sagging spirit? Can the doctor who increases life's length guarantee its quality?
Scripture invites us to hope in the Lord and draw strength from Him.
He will not restore our youth,
but He will renew our strength.
He will not take away our hurdles,
but He will help us over them.
He will not remove our burdens,
but He will help us carry them.
He will not shorten our journey,
but He will set the pace and walk with us so we can make it.
His strength is perfect in our weakness..
2006: Will it be the year of the eagle for you?
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THEY WILL HAVE VISIONS AND DREAMS | FROM THE WILDERNESS | THE PEOPLE WHO MADE CHRISTMAS POSSIBLE! | YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN! STAY PURE | FAITH THAT SURVIVES | DO YOU COUNT FOR GOD? | ECUMENICAL COUNCILS AND IMAGES - THE POSITION OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH | YEAR OF THE EAGLE? | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR
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