Dare 2B Daring - July 23, 2018
A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.
(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)
//“Midway along the journey of our life
I woke to find myself in a dark wood,
for I had wandered off from the straight path.
How hard it is to tell what it was like,
this wood of wilderness, savage and stubborn
(the thought of it brings back all my old fears),
a bitter place! Death could scarce be bitterer.
But if I would show the good that came of it
I must talk about things other than the good.”//
- Dante Alighieri
The wandering albatross, Diomedea exulans, is one of the largest flying birds on the planet. It boasts a wingspan of up to 12 feet and can weigh as much as 28 pounds. This unique bird is found on various islands in the south Atlantic and Southern Oceans.
The fledgling albatross may not fly until it is a year old. However, once it takes flight, the albatross can stay at sea for five years. It is able to cover over 300 miles in a day, gliding through the air at speeds of 55 mph. Certain individuals may circumnavigate the Southern Ocean three times in a single year, traversing 75,000 miles.
The human experience is often characterized by wandering. Our reason for being and the purpose of life is a central tenet of philosophy. Even as Christians, we may contemplate God’s plan and calling on our lives. For some, understanding what God would have them pursue and achieve may take years.
In a poem from The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien writes, “All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost”. This verse describes Aragorn, the rightful heir to the throne of Gondor who has spent most of his life wandering through the wilderness. While his roaming was questioned by some and scorned by others, it served to strengthen Aragorn’s character.
Our lives take us on interesting journeys and, at times, we may be unsure of the direction to take. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that these challenges grow and mold us as individuals. Additionally, we are never alone. The Lord is ever with us and guides our way. Though the wandering albatross flies across the Southern Ocean for thousands of miles, it returns to the same spot every other year to breed, doing so with a lifelong mate.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 ESV
- Christopher Glading, Program Director