A couple of days ago I woke in the early hours of the morning to do some work. Later in the day, feeling tired, I lay down for a short rest. Moments after closing my eyes I saw a picture [I was not asleep] which was in fact an advertisement for a program entitled – “How An Owl Sees The World”. I do not know if such a programme exists. At the same time I had a couple of other strong impressions in my mind – and I reached for my phone and made a short note. I was intrigued to say the least! I am not normally one of these people who experience such things, at least on a regular basis.
I subsequently began to research the ways and life of the Owl, having felt that the Spirit of God may have had some hand in this. I was fascinated to discover several things that I believe have a strong and relevant spiritual application.
In the Bible the Owl is, on several occasions a picture of loneliness and desolation. David writes in Psalm 102 –
“I am like a pelican of the wilderness:
I am like an owl of the desert.
I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.”
I know many Christians today, including myself, who at times feel like David – as an Owl – a solitary lonely figure in an empty land. However I do not believe that the lonely place need of necessity be a barren place in the realms of the spirit. Rather it can be a place of revelation and preparation!
Picking up on this picture, God, through the prophet Isaiah, gives an amazing promise –
“For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
The wild animals in the fields will thank me,
the jackals and owls, too,
for giving them water in the desert.
Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland
so my chosen people can be refreshed.”
I find it truly amazing as I write this to realise that the promise above incorporates the themes of the last two articles here on the blog – “Gratitude” and “The River” – and that the Owl is singled out at a picture of thanksgiving for the river – the refreshing of God in the desert place!
So what else might the Owl teach us?
One article on the Owl states – “They may look sleepy or even half asleep when really they are wide awake and alert.” I believe God has those today who are alive in the Spirit – even though some might tell us the Church is asleep – even dead! It may look like that to the casual observer – but God has his watching people!
Another expert notes – “An Owl’s eyes are large in order to improve their efficiency, especially under low light conditions.” I believe it is important that as the days we live in are dark – and may become darker still – the true people of God keep their spiritual eyes clear, healthy and undistracted!
Another ornithologists writes – “Owl ears are crooked-one is further forward and one higher than the other. When an owl hears the sound of a mouse as loud as possible in both ears, it has the direction. And because the ears are crooked, the sound of the mouse reaches one ear a split second before it reaches the other. That difference allows the owl’s brain to calculate the exact distance from the mouse.” I believe we desperately need highly developed spiritual ears! We need to know what is true and what is false – and in the world of the spirit this is perhaps the most dangerous realm – may God give us insight, wisdom and accurate discernment in these days.
The Owl is also almost silent in flight their feathers absorbing most of the sound. In other words – they do not bring attention to themselvs. This is critical to their survival! Others may have said this before me – but I have a strong suspicion that the next move of God will be wrought through ordinary people empowered by an extraordinary God. It will not feature loud superstar personalities!
So with God’s help may we learn from the ways of the Owl. My we have the ability to see through the darkness – to hear through the distracting sounds of our world, to know when to stay still and when to move and to have humility in flight and in the moment of victory!