The LORD’s Air Traffic Control
This morning I found myself wondering an uncommon question.
“Just when is the sun coming up?”
I left the house at 5:30 with the aim to arrive in Wisconsin around 8. The “wintry mix” that had fallen all night proved to be more ice than mix, and traffic was slow. I figured I’d be safe because I’d only be in the dark for the first hour of my ride as surely BMNT (beginning of morning nautical twilight) would happen around 0630.
“My calculations must be off,” I finally conceded.
It hit me that BMCT is what matters when driving (civil twilight—sun at 6 degrees below horizon, not the 12 of nautical twilight).
No problem. But even at 7am, there was still no sign of our nearest star, and quite a bit more roadway to go than I could squeeze into one hour.
Then it happened as it always does—suddenly.
Suddenly, dawn made her appearance.
A few minutes later, the true miracles occurred.
Miracle Number 1: I saw a headless bird eating road kill.
“Wait-a-minute!! That’s no headless bird, that’s a BALD EAGLE! And it’s so close!”
Zoom. I passed within feet of him.
“And to think I saw him in Wisconsin USA,” I further thought to myself.
I mean, seeing a bald eagle is one thing, but seeing one in the great state of Wisconsin, USA elevates the experience well into the clouds, if not all the way to the heavens.
Next, it happened again.
Miracle Number 2: I looked and saw a bald eagle on the tippy top of a leafless tree. His chest was as broad as the Rocky Mountains.
Unlike last sighting from a few posts back, we’ll call that one The Sentinel, this treetop eagle had the pleasure of directing traffic.
Upon entering Wisconsin, I observed that the wintry mix had stopped at the state line and now there were only enormous snow flakes. Enormous snow flakes in need of some direction. And I was staring at the divinely appointed tower controller as he was directing traffic.
“Cleared for landing, Uniform Sierra Foxtrot.”
“Yes, sir. Come on down.”
“Wonderful flare, way to go!”
“Last calling, you’re number two for that branch on your right, keep your speed up, I’ve got two more behind ya.”
“Sierra Foxtrot Heavy, I’ve got a spot for you on the virgin mantle two hundred yards from centerline.”
And on and on he went. It was like listening to the soothing crackle of George Washington’s torch as it illuminated the unimaginable freedom just on the other side of the darkness.
A Midwestern American Man’s Take On Ukraine
I took my two twelve year olds canoeing, here in Minnesota last July. It brought back so many memories. Just being alone on a river and hearing no artificial noise was well worth the price of admission.
Then, as if to further and more certainly confirm that the event was anointed, there was a moment when a bald eagle flew overhead into view.
Can we talk about the bald eagle for a minute? Is there anything good that a bald eagle doesn’t represent? Is there anything good that a bald eagle doesn’t call to mind?
When I see a bald eagle, I might as well see Jesus. Remember that “I Can Only Imagine” Christian song? It even made the Kohl’s playlist? Remember? “I can only imagine/what hmm mm mmhm hmm?…what will my heart feel? Will I dance for you Jesus!? Or in awe of you be still!?” Imagine nevermore. After seeing a bald eagle, I can tell you what seeing Jesus actually feels like.
Awe, then happy, then awe, then somber, then awe, then special, then awe, then at peace, then awe, then blessed, then awe, then talkative, then awe, then warm, then awe, then good.
On a river in Minnesota we saw a bald eagle. It felt good.
Then, to our surprise, we saw a second large bird playfully follow and engage the bald eagle. The second bird had a speckled appearance. It did not have a white head.
When we arrived home, I googled this second bird. It turns out, as you may have guessed, that bald eagles don’t have the white (bald) head until they’re fully grown.
Did I mention that I saw a bald eagle on the river that day? I did.
Truly, when I saw that bald eagle, I saw America.
The bald eagle is America.
The young bald eagle, then, is Europe.
Ukraine is a bald eagle egg.
Should the USA help Ukraine? Sure. We want more bald eagles.
But the USA should not send its own men and women to fight Russia, anymore than the adult bald eagle can get back inside the egg.
It’d be disingenuous. It’d be unnatural.
Ukraine’s real competition, if it were actually a country (I still say, ‘Ukraine is not a country’), is us—not Russia.