Adaptability

Hebrews 13:6-7

I sat somewhat disinterestedly in my window seat on the airplane as it taxied down the congested runway at Los Angeles International Airport, only to be jolted from my lethargy by a paradoxical sight. There, among the enormous lanes with their pulsating jet blasts and their furor to give gravity another “in your face” demonstration, a hawk hovered over a narrow strip of brown grass. She was fixed solely on the job at hand—to find a hapless field mouse for dinner. Now there’s adaptability, I thought, for both the hawk and her prey. Such an inhospitable environment, but life must go on.

The hawk’s forebears played out the same deadly drama long before the first Spanish padre surveyed the valley that tumbles down to the restless Pacific—long before the first clipboard gang decided that this was a good place for an airport.

I bear no ill will toward technocrats, or those who go giddy over the prospect of covering every vacant piece of earth with bituminous concrete. But I secretly hope that someday the predictable cycle of life will revert to its original design for Ms. Hawk’s and Mr. Field Mouse’s progeny, if they are lucky enough to survive.

Armchair philosophers muse that change is the only certainty. We look in the mirror and tend to agree. But what happens when a firestorm rages within, triggered by changing circumstances beyond our control? Do we perish or do we adapt?

Our first inclination may be to roll over with our belly up. But there’s something fiercely noble about the other option—to persevere and even to prosper. That ability, I’m convinced, is borne from another realm. I’ve seen too many people of faith standing exultantly over their “Goliaths” to think otherwise.

The Christian commits not only his strength of character, but also his weakness and mortal fears to the preeminent figure of history. Christ sides with him and says, “I know all about it. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. Life goes on, and it even gets better.”

I believe I can adapt to that! Or to say it another way—because you believe, you can adapt to that!

David Atkins, The War Cry

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