By the Night Writer
Biblically speaking, the eagle and the bat don’t have much in common, other than you’re not supposed to eat either one (check out Leviticus and Dueteronomy). Aside from that the bat receives no mention while the eagle is referred to 25 times in the KJV, though not always positively. Yet culturally and spiritually we view the eagle as a regal and majestic bird, one that can set its wings and fly above the storm. Bats, if you think about them at all, are kind of icky.
I started thinking about this the other day when our pastor said that there are five areas that make up our life and they are, in order of importance: Spirit, Soul (our mind, will and emotions), Body, Social and Financial. The world’s wisdom, however, reverses this order. The basis of this understanding is the main part of a teaching I’ve done at Red Wing, but not the point of this post. Instead, my pastor said you have to look at the world’s priorities upside down as if you were a bat. As he said it, I suddenly got several bat-related pictures in my head.
First it occurred to me that bats really can’t see much at all so they don’t really “look at” anything. Instead, they navigate by sound. That is, they send a noise out ahead of them and steer according to the sound that returns to them, trusting they won’t crash into anything and that they’ll find food. Immediately I remembered that the Bible tells us we are to walk by faith (“the evidence of things not seen”), not sight. Secondly, i remembered that “faith comes by hearing”.
If we set our course by sight we can be led astray by shiny things that may not be good for us, like bugs drawn to a backyard zapper. If, however, we spoke the word of God out of our mouths and ordered our lives by what we heard, we’d be on the path to getting those five priorities in the proper order.
Of course, scripture also quotes Jesus as saying, “I do what I see my Father doing.” That implies sight, but – since God changes not – isn’t it easier to see what God is doing by looking at what He has done, using the word that is in our hearts, in our mouths, and ultimately in our ears?
Finally, the majestic eagle is an apex predator, which means it is mainly on the “look out” for it’s next meal. Many of those we would look at and admire – actors, athletes, politicians – and try to emulate are all in it for themselves. A bat’s next meal, however, is likely be a mess of mosquitos – something that actually helps us.
Hanging upside down is something the world thinks is weird or abnormal, yet it’s perfectly “normal” for a bat, just as I want those five priorities in their proper order to be the norm in my life. Yes, it’s tempting to want to soar like an eagle, but as for me — to the bat cave!