"You never know what the tide will bring you," says the character played by Tom Hanks in the movie "Cast Away." It's a poignant moment, and the message obviously extends well beyond the movie's story line. To me, the larger meaning is this: you can trust the tide of life to bring you the things that you need - things that are practical and good. Specifically, you can trust it to bring you wings.
These wings, which may wash ashore in the most unlikely forms, as the movie beautifully underscores, set you free from bad circumstances. They carry you to safety. They enable you to sail on to deliverance, fulfillment, and love. They rescue you from misery, loss, desolation, and isolation, from being trapped, doomed ... and cast away.
I'm figuring out that the kinds of wings that do these things are wings of expectation, courage, endurance, ingenuity, and idealism. And I think that God is the unfailing tide that gives these wings to us, and everyone has them. No one can really lose them because they flow continuously to us from the divine Spirit, and lift us up. God equips you and me with soaring thought-wings of peace, purity, spontaneity, power, and wisdom. You could call them thought-wings of spiritual-mindedness, or spirituality.
I think of spirituality as eagle's wings:
And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun,
and hold you in the palm of His hand.*
To me, these eagle's wings of spirituality keep one lifted above the torment and trouble of sadness, lack, anxiety, and illness that go with the territory of believing life is just material. On eagle's wings, you feel God's ever-present goodness elevating your thought, and you expect to see this goodness reflected in your life. You trust that God is providing safe transport to your destination - joy, prosperity, serenity, excellence, and well-being.
A verse from the 91st Psalm makes me feel that divine wings not only lift and carry, they also shelter. "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust" (verse 4).
In other words, Spirit keeps you safe. Spirit shelters you from ill-winds or downward power or influence. Spi-rit provides the strength and uplift that keeps your life and aspirations protected and airborne. And if your wings ever feel clipped, Spirit restores them.
For example, when I was in college, the demands of exams, papers, and projects were so intense at one point that I couldn't think straight. Fear and depression overwhelmed me. I felt ill. I reached out to divine Spirit for help. I knew that because I was God's expression, there could never really be a moment when I was separate from this divine presence. I was always truly in the palm of God's hand. I wasn't alone. Infinite Life - Spirit itself - was present, breathing composure and coherence into every activity. Well, it didn't happen overnight, but I regained my peace. I felt a quiet assurance that all would be well. Then I got some ideas for practical steps to take in order to get my life better in order. Gradually I felt the courage and confidence to take those steps. My work got back on course. I was flying steady again.
Perhaps I glimpsed a bit of what Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, meant when she said, "Entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living, is the Life divine, revealing spiritual understanding and the consciousness of man's dominion over the whole earth" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 14).
No matter what hardship you may be facing, you can trust that God is sustaining you. You can feel the warm embrace of divine Spirit comforting you, giving you peace, direction, and authority. The tender, dynamic tide of divine Life is conscious of you, and is bringing you everything you need ... to wing it!
*Excerpted from "On Eagle's Wings" by Michael Joncas, copyright 1979, New Dawn Music. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society