IT'S common knowledge that dinosaurs have been extinct for about sixty-five million years. But the other day I think I saw eight of them flying over the creek behind my house. No, I didn't have a bad dream, and it wasn't a strange cloud formation passing by that just happened to look like a stampeding brontosaurus herd! I had simply learned something I hadn't known before: that today many paleontologists believe birds are probably distant relatives of the dinosaur family. I don't think I'll ever look at a flock of Canada geese in quite the same way.
All of this, though, points to something else as well -- something about human nature and the influence of new ideas, new perceptions. When we're set in our ways and our viewpoints, there's a certain sameness about things. Yet when we're willing to look at things in a different way, we find that our experience is invigorated with a new sense of possibility.
Nowhere is this more true than in what might be called our spiritual life. If we listen to what our spiritual sense tells, we begin to discover a wholly different kind of life and reality -- life in and of God. The record of early Christianity shows the transformation that can take place in people's lives as they begin to glimpse spiritual ideas and to see life's meaning in a new context. People were healed. There was something about discovering what it can really mean to be the child of God that liberated people from bondage.
The Apostle Paul spoke of this spiritual adventure: ``Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.''1