Sunday, July 15, 2012

Von der Erde Reiss Mich Los (part one)

A long forgotten line from a hymn buried in my childhood was summoned from the depths of my memory recently. 
For the line...   Von der Erde Reiss Mich Los ...  if a word for word translation were given it would be .. "From the earth tear me loose"   

This spring I have been watching the eagle nest in Iowa via web cam.    I watched the  eggs laid, then the eaglets hatch into tiny balls of fluff. Over the next weeks they grew rapidly to be bigger than the parent birds.  
As they grew to adult size I was amused to watch their antics. Using their large nest as a trampoline they would spread their wings and jump into the air.  At first their feet barely left the nest, but with practice they lifted higher and higher able to hold themselves for a few seconds in the air.
Then came the day when they ventured out onto the strong tree limbs supporting their nest.  I recognized that they were ready to leave the nest so every day I watched, expecting it to be the day the nest would be permanently vacated. 

To my surprise it didn't happen that way.  Even though the eagles could now fly from limb to limb in the tree, they would return to the nest -- to eat , to sleep, to rest. The parents humoured them, still offering meal delivery to the nest.  
As I watched I WISHED I could just reach out and throw them up against the blue sky and WILL them to fly high above the limitations of the nest they seemed so reluctant to leave.   Did the blue sky above them not beckon them to the freedom that was their birth right?  

As I observed them, I realized that they mimicked our own spiritual reality .   
Just as the eagles clung to the only 'home' they knew , limited though it was .. so we also cling to this earth, the only 'home' we know.  
Oh yes.. as we mature we become aware of our 'spiritual' side... and using this earth as a trampoline we flap our spiritual wings and feel ourselves lifted from the things of this earth.  But how temporary that is before we once again land on this earth, comfortable with the things that we know.   
With practice we may even spiritually 'fly', enjoying our spiritual highs, our mountain top experiences. We joyfully leave our earthly nest for a time to  sit in heavenly places.  But again, it is only for a moment. How quickly our faith weakens and we return to earthly things for our sustenance.   It is just so much easier to keep our feet grounded on  the understanding that this 'home'  earth offers, we prefer to 'live' according to  the thinking of the world that we know so well.    
Our faith just isn't strong enough to leave this earthly nest completely.  

I watched as  the eagles sojourned in their nest  for a season, then observed how reluctant they were to leave their nest to spread their wings  soaring  high in the heavens, reaching for the sky that has no limits.  
So we too for an earthly season are bound by physical reality. We cling to the earth 'built' by God specifically suited to our needs and comforts. 
But I see that too often our mind set is much like the eagles.  The pull of this earth is stronger than the pull of the blue sky of eternity to come. 
Instead of yearning for our eternal destiny we put it off for as long as we can, clinging to the earthly things we hold dear. 

May the refrain of this ancient song be the prayer of our hearts...  

Von der erde reiss mich los,               From the earth tear me away,
Mache  meinen glauben gross,           Make my faith big, 
Bit mire einen treunen sinn,                May I faithful and true in spirit be.
Nimm mich ganz mein JESU hin.        My Jesus, take me, make me wholly yours!.
       (Author; Luise von Hayn,1724-1782)


Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Hello Julie! How fascinating to be able to observe the hatching and growth of eaglets and watch them as they prepare to go out into their adult lives as birds who can soar high. I, for one, long to "mount up on wings as eagles" any chance I get, but it's true our vision is often down instead of up. I'll be watching for part two!

Kathy said...

Amen....faithful and true in sprit be.
How neat that you were able to watch the eagles, and then write such an encouraging post for us. I've been watching the wee little birds in my own back yard as they pop their heads out of the bird houses.....I knew one day those nests would hold eggs and crack open and I'd see movement....then flight. Now I hear lots of sweet chirping. Looking forward to part two.

Anneliese said...

Oh how those German words of that Hymn bring back memories of singing it in church as a girl. Someohow they still have more meaning in that language ... so poetic and real. What a prayer!
May we ask for greater faith.

Betty W said...

We still sing that song sometimes in church. It really is a great comparison you made with the eagles.

Dear Julie! I just wanted to let you know the good news of our daughter. She is engaged!! You were such a great help to me and I know you have prayed for her, and I just wanted to let you know the good news! I posted about it on my blog, so you can read more there.
Thank you so much for your prayers!

Anonymous said...

Hello Julie,
I feel slightly responsible for those Decorah eaglets since I'm about an hour south of them! (I'm also the indexer for your wonderful cookbook...) 8-)

I've been trying to be more gluten-free and am afraid you will have to put up with me more and more. Thanks for all the inspiration!!

Ocean Soul said...

So true. God has so much more planned for us, if only we would be obedient and jump out of our 'nests' and realize that God is the wind beneath our wings and he wants us to soar to new heights! great analogy!

Unknown said...

I stumbled across your blog while in search of the song "Von die erde reiss much loos". I have been blessed and encouraged by your words. May God bless you for sharing precious truths! I'm always excited when I see that there are indeed other genuine believers, especially on the web. I too was raised in a Mennonite home and became a believer at a young age. :)

Would you by any chance have or be able to steer me in the direction of the complete song I mentioned? I was trying to find it on YouTube but could not. I would also like to learn the tune.