I have been fascinated today by a story I found on BBC News of bar headed geese that take a “short cut” on their migratory journey from Tibet to India and actually fly over the top of Mt Everest. This route places the birds in temperatures so cold that they would be frozen solid if they didn’t keep moving. The altitude, with dangerously low oxygen levels, adds to the challenge. Thankfully, the anatomy of this bird includes multiple air sacs that enable them to efficiently use the limited oxygen. Their course is one of a roller coaster trajectory that hugs the top of the mountain, At first appearance this seems to waste energy that has been used to attain the highest heights but monitoring reveals that this up and down course is actually beneficial in that the drop into the lower altitude slows the heart thus giving energy to scale the heights again.
By choosing this path, these birds have avoided the storms they would have encountered if they had taken the longer way around the mountain. This route of a 1000km is covered in 24 hours These humble birds engage their God given resources and scale Mt Everest twice every year.
There’s something about this story that has caused me to ask questions about my own life. Am I willing to fly high with Jesus even though there isn’t much air there and the temperatures are cold? Am I willing to risk my life for a migratory assignment that I know I have been given? Am I postured to expect, even embrace the roller coaster ride, knowing that I need the lows in order to gain strength to soar again to the heights?
Do I need to change my perspective on the lows? Do I need to learn to use these “down” time as restorative rest stops that will enable me to climb back into the life threatening cold where it is hard to breathe?
Jesus modeled this for us, called us to it and gave us some bar headed geese to be out teachers.
Praise God, I’m signed up for this migratory adventure.
Come fly with me!