On my latest trip to the beach, there were several large flocks of seagulls expertly navigating through the windy storm. I watched for quite some time as they took off, landed, and patrolled the shore all while facing into the wind. There are several reasons why they do this and all of them are tied to the instinct of survival.
Their amazing feathers are designed to lay flat against their body. If they should turn against the wind when not in flight, these feathers would get pushed and puffed up in the wrong direction. Then, like an umbrella caught in a great gust of air, they would fall tumbling over the ground. This would prevent their ability for a fast takeoff and that could mean the difference between life and death. But they know what not to do, which is why you will rarely, if ever, see one standing backwards against the wind.
Because they are designed with feathers that are optimized for rough air flow, extending their wings facing the wind gives them immediate lift.
But let’s not discount their eyes and ears. They see potential dangers and hear the warning cry of a member of their flock and instantly respond. From body position to awareness, everything a seagull does works together to keep him safe.
I wondered if I am as watchful.
Am I prepared to soar to greater heights to escape the dangers of this world?
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
The scriptures counsel us to be in the world but not of the world. There is much in our life that can influence us and steal our time if we let it. We can be ‘carried about by every wind of doctrine’ and blown over by the storms and tumult of the world. The rallying cry of the masses toward anger and revenge pulls us away from the simple plea to love our neighbor.
The answer to combat the darkness of this world is to rise above it. To seek the Lord and find in Him the comfort and counsel he has promised. Not only will He lead us beside the still waters, He will illuminate our minds with truth, for He has said:
“I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” (John 12:46)
We have been given all we need to stay protected. Our hearts and minds are designed to seek the Light. As we face the storms of this world, let us be watchful and ready to leave behind that which would hurt and destroy.