Knowing Where to Look

For the last few winters, we’ve had an eagle or two in our backyard once the weather turns bitterly cold and everything starts to freeze. Since water is always flowing into our pond, it takes a little longer to completely ice over than some of the smaller more shallow wetlands in the area, where we assume the eagles normally feed. Even though they are not considered migratory birds, eagles will fly as far as they need to find food… but only that far. While the center of our pond is still unfrozen and fish and waterfowl (their favorite food) are readily available, this majestic visitor comes each day early in the morning. Then when the pond completely freezes over, he flies to the city pond about a mile away which remains open water throughout the winter.

Eagles on average need to consume 5-10% of their body weight daily. Once their normal food source is no longer accessible, it is imperative that they know where to find their next meal, especially in the colder climates. How the eagles found our pond is a mystery. Perhaps they were new to the area as the raptor population has greatly increased in recent years throughout the continental United States. However it happened, we are grateful for their presence and are committed to their safety.

As I stood in the snow, carefully inching my way into position to capture this picture, I was struck with the similarity in the importance of us knowing where to look for that which would nourish and strengthen us. Not in the physical sense, but in an emotional and spiritual way.

Being the first of the new year, there is an abundance of excellent advice from a myriad of sources that can help us do just about anything we want to accomplish this year. In the apparently never ending stream of information, where do we look for guidance? Where is our best chance for success? Do we heap upon us a course of many proposed changes or have we learned the power in changing just one thing at a time?

There is One who knows us even better than we know ourselves. He sees the end from the beginning and has already created a plan for our life in which we will become our best self and have the greatest joy. He loves us perfectly and is ever available and willing to help us make more of our lives than we ever could on our own. In all our searching and yearning for the best approach to success for the coming year, have we looked to God for help?

Alma teaches us to “Council with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good.”

Accepting this direction reminds us of another promise taught by Isaiah that will help sustain us and give us the stamina to continue improving throughout the year: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”