One of my great joys in this life is to walk along the beach on Dauphin Island. The lapping of the waves, the mist from the water, and the soft sand beneath my feet all give me pleasure. As I walk along, I especially enjoy the cry of the gulls as they glide gracefully above the water. Endowed by the Creator, they have the innate ability to ride the updrafts and use the air currents to move smoothly through the air with a minimum of effort.
Looking up to spot the gulls, my eyes often lift higher to the heavens. With no thought of doing an injustice to God’s word, let me share a thought from the Book of Ecclesiastes. As I lift my eyes heavenward, Ecclesiastes 12:4. comes to mind: “…and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird.” My thoughts rise up at the cry of a gull. I think of Paul’s instruction in Colossians 3:2: “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
Sometimes, as I gaze into the sky, I experience a longing for heaven and home. I like the expressive words found in the Message translation: “For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven – God made, not handmade – and we’ll never have to relocate our ’tents’ again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move – so we cry out…” (2 Corinthians 5:1).
The cry of a gull causes me to lift my eyes and mind heaven ward. I smile when I think that one day my soul will catch an updraft and I’ll “fly away”. I will soar above the gulls, above the sky. I will, in Christ, “mount up with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31).
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”