Where Eagles Fly

I am often told my writing is raw, honest, and full of emotion. Most of the time those that tell me also thank me for it.

I also hear from people who tell me how painful and hard it is to read, but read it they must.

Sometimes I think honesty is a trait of another time and place. We often pull our punches. We often tell people exactly what they want to hear.

I know some good people who would love for me to write today and tell you of all the wonderful things in my life… tell you about my successes and blessing… let you know of all the joy and happiness that has invaded my life.

And, if the truth be told completely, there are wonderful things, wonderful people in my life. In some places, in some areas I see successes, I recognize blessings. I am thankful that I do know joy and happiness–I am often able to easily find reasons for joy and happiness.

But if the truth were to be told completely, I’d have to tell you–even though it may not be what you want to hear–that there are still dark places, dark things I wrestle with.

Truthfully?

I am tired.
Weary.
Frustrated.

A lot.

Add to that a cup or two of anger here and there and it is a potent mix.

I don’t understand why it seems the wicked prosper.
Why can’t I have some of that?

I don’t have a clue why life has to be so crazy hard at times.
Is it too much to ask for a day or two every once in a while on Easy Street?

My patience with God often gets stretched thin.

Here’s my truth: I am fully ensconced in just such a time.
I am exasperated with the constant sense of having to scratch and claw.
I hate feeling desperate and unsure.
I am so ready for God to work in my life in bigger and better ways.
So ready.

So this morning, in the absence of that, I did run therapy.
Three faster than normal miles on some dusty gravel roads.
And I listened to music.

Robbie Williams crooned…
When I’m feeling weak and my pain walks down a one way street…

Yep. I get that. Perfect words to encapsulate my frame of mind.

But, I didn’t need any auditory reminders this morning. So with apologies to Mr. Williams, that just wasn’t going to work. I needed music to groove/ move me faster–and help me out of my funk. And being that I am an unrepentant hard rock fan, I turned to the Red Rocker instead.

My musician Sammy Hagar can usually move me. Today he did. I like a bunch of his work, but my all time favorite and one of my most listened to songs is called Eagles Fly.

Sunday morning 9 a.m. 
I saw fire in the sky 
I felt my heart pound in my chest 
I heard an eagle cry 


Now I’m alive I can breathe the air 
Feel the wind, smell the earth in the air 
I watch an eagle rise above the trees 
Project myself into what he sees 


Hey- 
Take me away 
Come on and fly me away 
Take me up so high 
Where eagles fly 


I often dream I sail through the sky 
I’ve always wished I could fly 
The simple life of a bird on the wing 
Oh Lord, I could sing 


Take me away 
Come on fly me away 
Lift me up so high 
Where eagles fly 


Oh yeah- 
I’m alive, I breathe the air 
Wash the earth from my face 
I catch a glimpse of another dream 
I turn, I look but there’s no trace 


Take me away. 
Come on, fly me away. 
I wanna fly away. 
Pick me up so high 
Where eagles fly 


Oh yeah- 
Eagles fly, oh, take me away 
Eagles fly, oh, take me away 
Come on, let’s fly away where eagles fly 
Come on, fly away where eagles fly.

Sammy probably never intended for a guy like me to use his music to fight my way out of a funk.

But that’s where I am and not where I want to be, so fight I must.

Take me away. 
Come on, fly me away. I wanna fly away. Pick me up so high 
Where eagles fly…

Thank you Sammy for helping me move faster and groove on while doing it.
More importantly, thank you for reminding me of scripture…

Even youths grow tired and weary,
 and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
 will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
 they will run and not grow weary,
 they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)

Come on God, I am so ready to soar.
How about you?

Take me away. Come on, fly me away. I wanna fly away. Pick me up so high 
Where eagles fly…

Les Ferguson, Jr.

Dear God…

I ran two miles today–the second day in a row. Yay me! This morning as I ran, I tried to pray, but mostly I just cried in frustration. I am not suicidal or despondent or even bereft of happiness or hope. I have blessings and they are counted and appreciated.

And yet…

The following prayer is what I wanted to express to the Father…

Dear God,

I don’t know how to pray anymore.
I am not sure I ever did.

Gone are all the words of majestic grandeur. The ability to ascribe wonder, awe, and amazement toward your great and bountiful blessings seems to be a thing of the past.

These days almost every time I try to pray it becomes some wordless groan and cry filled with anger, hurt, bitterness, and questions.

And rage.
Let’s not forget the rage.

I am glad scripture affirms that the Holy Spirit interprets for you. He’s probably working overtime to translate my frustrations into legible communication.

I am tired.
I am weary.
I am sick to death of struggling, scratching, and clawing.
Rebuilding is hard work often with more steps backwards than forward.
I’m guessing you know that to be the understatement of the century.

I am a fighter, not a quitter, so you’re gonna have to deal with me for a long time to come.

But you have to know this hurts. You have to.
This. Hurts. Horribly.
And it leaves me feeling inadequate at best and a loser at worst–even as I know I am not.

You have to know how badly I want some relief, some breathing room, some respite, just a small amount of security.

Is that too much to ask?

Honestly, it feels like it must be the hardest, biggest, largest thing anybody ever pleaded with you for…

Do I need to be punished for something? Is there some lesson you have picked for me to either learn or be the example of? Do I need to remind you there is a house here full with four wonderful boys and one amazing woman who are paying the price too?

Yeah.

In case you missed it, there are thousands and thousands of people on this planet who feel the same way. The exact same way.

We are not asking for riches.
We are not asking for every little wrinkle in the road to be smoothed over.
We are not asking for something foreign that no one else has ever experienced

On the other hand, many of us are striving with everything we have to live lives not defined by our past or even the horrors or difficulties that so easily overwhelm us. To the contrary, we want lives that are defined by hope, a better tomorrow.

We know you can fix it all, and while we would love that, we would be greatly satisfied with feeling, knowing your presence in concrete ways that help us see better days and eased struggles somewhere close on the horizon.

And like Abraham of old, we ask, Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Amen.

Les Ferguson, Jr.

Running

In the immediate aftermath of October 10, 2011, I started running.

Everyday without fail, I ran.
Sometimes twice a day.

As I ran I cried. Listened to music. Cursed. Cursed God. Glared at people who looked at me funny. And well, if you can imagine an angry, mad man spoiling for a fight–any fight to ease the pain, then you can probably see me fairly accurately at that time.

I ran. It didn’t matter how hot, cold, or wet it was. I ran.

It was my therapy of sorts. It helped me focus on the minute by minute or better yet, the next step. And the next. And the next.

God knows I needed some therapy then.
And I still do.

After months of laziness and inactivity, I have started running again. Ostensibly to help me lose the pounds packed back on in almost a year of being married again. But don’t blame Becki. She’s a great cook and I like to eat. (She makes everything from scratch–the first time I tried to buy canned whop whop biscuits, she looked at me like the idiot I found out I was!)

I happen to believe when God made me, he left out the function called metabolism. I have none. I can gain five pounds looking at your water glass sitting across the room. Heaven helps us if you are eating a hamburger, then it might be ten gained pounds–all without the personal satisfaction of tasting your “two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame bun.”

And so, in an effort to help the diet process and regain my youthful fighting form (go ahead and laugh, one day I will be skinny again–I just hope it’s before the worms get me), I run.

I am back up to the two mile mark again–and trying to inch the distance up just a few tenths more a day. I am exhausted–my body hasn’t gotten back quite into the routine yet–but I am running.

And it is therapeutic. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I curse. Sometimes I curse God. And thankfully, sometimes I go mercifully blank. Even better, sometimes I begin to think I am going to have a normal relationship with God.

But then again, my normal is a bit different these days.
Even so, I am thankful for the life we have already built–the life we will continue to build.

I haven’t quit. I won’t quit. Even though I have deep questions to which there seem to be no answers, I will share this story. I will continue to run (and write, speak, and live).

In our doubt, our faith may blossom; in our struggle, hope may lie. In our tears we find our laughter, in the darkness, God is nigh. For the wonder and the comfort and the mystery of our faith, may we live in glad commitment to the One who is our way.

For the road that leads us onward to the places yet unseen; for the Spirit ever leading to the dreams we’ve yet to dream; for the faith enough to question and the faith enough to trust, may our lives be used in service given in the name of love.

“Hands of Blessing” Peggy Haymes 1992

Les Ferguson