Thursday morning the sun was shining, and I was filled with delight as I stood by the Fox River in Appleton watching the water, the trees the birds. As I stood waiting for my friend John to arrive, it was the birds that really caught my attention. I watched them alternate between flapping their wings and then simply gliding on current of the wind. They knew just how long they had to exert their own effort before they could allow themselves to be carried. Their flight is a beautiful balance between the effort of the birds and the wind.
It is much the same with us. Poverty of spirit acknowledges our absolute and utter dependence on God, and our need for God’s grace. But that is not in invitation to sitting back and doing nothing. Our effort is a key element to the equation.
Our ability to strike the right balance between our effort and our reliance on God’s grace doesn’t always look as effortless as birds in flight. But perhaps their flight doesn’t seem as effortless to the birds as it does to us.