My favorite hymn is I’ll Fly Away. I particularly love the Jars of Clay version. In fact, when I die, I want everyone at my wake to gather together and sing it loudly and repetitively. I just love this song!

“Some glad morning/When this life is o’er/I’ll fly away/
To a home/On God’s celestial shore/I’ll fly away/
I’ll fly away/Oh, glory!/I’ll fly away (in the morning)/
When I die/Hallelujah, by and by/I’ll fly away/
When the shadows/Of this life have gone/I’ll fly away/
Like a bird/from prison bars has flown/I’ll fly away/
I’ll fly away/Oh, glory!/I’ll fly away (in the morning)/
When I die/Hallelujah, by and by/I’ll fly away/
Just a few more/Weary days and then/I’ll fly away/
To a land/Where joy shall never end/I’ll fly away/
I’ll fly away/Oh, glory!/I’ll fly away (in the morning)/
When I die/Hallelujah, by and by/I’ll fly away.”

That really doesn’t have much to do with this post, except the title. Well, maybe just a little more than that. The title was inspired by a great story from my friend, Corrie. She even provided the photos.

It was earlier this summer when a baby bird fell out of its nest. Pushed, probably, by its momma who wanted it to fly. But the bird wasn’t ready. And so it fell. Ker-splat. Onto the ground. Corrie’s daughter, Amber, found the baby bird and rescued it. They gently placed it back into another nest with other babies and a new momma bird. The new momma bird looked after the baby, adopting it as its own. But again, when the other babies were pushed out into the world, this baby bird still wasn’t ready.

Ker-splat. Ker-splat. Each time, Amber found the baby bird. Each time, the baby bird followed Amber. It began to follow Amber around the yard. It became as tame as a wild sparrow could be, allowing Amber to pick it up and hold it often. Each evening, Amber put it to bed in the nest.

A few days later, the new momma bird kicked the babies out again. And while this baby bird knew how to fly, it didn’t want to. It wanted Amber. But this particular day, it couldn’t find Amber right away. So it did what any lost bird would do. It went looking for her… in the house.

It was Amber’s birthday, and the house was decorated in celebration. She wanted bright and colorful owls. She also got a bird. The baby bird. It made an appearance, sang its Happy Birthday chirps to her, and let her put it back outside.

A day or two later, after enough urgings from New Momma Bird and Momma Amber, the baby bird finally flew away into the world. It was strong enough, and secure enough, to make it’s own way.

The joy it brought to Corrie and Amber formed memories they’ll keep forever, and keep sharing.

This story got me thinking about how many times we think we’re in the right place, when really we should be some place better. The environment we sometimes find ourselves in, while even loving and safe, is not where we’re destined for. How often are we led astray, by others, by ourselves? How often do we resist the help of others to get us back on track?

Sometimes through circumstance we find ourselves in a new nest. Sometimes we fight too hard to stay where we don’t belong. We hold onto to what we know is good and safe, and forget we’re designed to move on and explore.

There are grand horizons just waiting to be crossed. So spread your wings and take the chance. You may fall. But know that if you do, there’s plenty of people willing to help you get back up, and get you where you need to be.

Amber and Baby Bird

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