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Monday, March 27, 2017

But I am so cozy right here!

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad." (C. S. Lewis) I think it might just be possible some of us have "gone bad" because we have refused to leave the safety of our shell! The place of "nesting" is good only while the egg needs "nurturing" - until it is time for birth to occur and maybe just a little longer until the hatchling learns to fly. At some point, the mother pushes the bird from the nest - either because the life within never emerged from the shell, or the thing refused to fly!

3 Because of the grace that God gave me, I can say to each one of you: don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Instead, be reasonable since God has measured out a portion of faith to each one of you. 4 We have many parts in one body, but the parts don’t all have the same function. 5 In the same way, though there are many of us, we are one body in Christ, and individually we belong to each other. 6 We have different gifts that are consistent with God’s grace that has been given to us. (Romans 12:3-6 CEB)

There is definitely a time and place for us to be "shelled in" - it is a season, or specific time for our growth (development) to occur. Anyone knows the shell isn't meant to contain us - it is meant to help us develop "in safety" - keeping all we need for that developmental stage right there where we can draw from it. At some point, the thing developing within the shell meets the boundaries of the shell. That shell isn't meant to encapsulate us forever - it is meant to challenge us to break free into a new exploration of what comes next as we feel it pressing against us. 

If the bird remained in the shell, would it ever learn the usefulness of those tiny feathers which have been developing within the shell? No, it would not even notice the other birds using their similar feathers to soar to new heights - all because it stays in the shell. In the shell, there is comfort - but only up to a point. At that point of "resistance", the bird faces two choices - break free, or be broken free! From within the shell comes a little stirring - alerting the brooding hen to know life is about to come forth from the shell. I wonder if God feels something similar in any of us today? Are we at the point of escape - the exploration of new things outside of some shell of protected growth we have been contained within for some prolonged period?

We are created with a purpose - to remain in the shell is to deny that purpose. To settle for the protection of the shell would result in us never learning to see things from a new perspective. All growth prepares us for a new vantage point, but to realize it we must be free of the confines of the place where we have done that growing. The nest served the purpose for which it was created. The shell confined and provided for our growth only so long. The heights we are called to reach are now beckoning to us from without that shell and from beyond that nest! It is likely time for some of us to leave that shell and to begin to try out our wings!

Have you ever noticed birds? They tend to move in groups - one hobbles down the yard to a new section of grass, searching for their next "big find" of nourishing tidbit. In turn, the others hobble a little bit further in that direction, and eventually they are all kind of in the same place again. A little later, one will take flight and the rest will join as they move on to the next place of their rest or purposeful pursuit. The church doesn't just "nest the young" - it encourages them to take flight and then to lead others along in flight, as well. It may be God is calling you to take flight, but in order to do so, you must break free of the shell and flap those newly developed wings! Just sayin!