While on vacation in Yellowstone National Park, I was surprised to learn that drowning is the leading cause of death for bald eagles; I would have guessed pollution, predator, or man. The Park Ranger explained that a bald eagle will occasionally spy an especially large fish and swoop down from the sky to seize it. An expert hunter, the eagle will lock its talons into the fish and prepare to carry its prey back to the nest. However, because the fish is exceptionally large, the eagle is unable to lift it out of the lake. Instead, the fish pulls the eagle (talons still locked) under the water and drowns it.
The bald eagle is always better off hunting small fish; the smaller fish are safer to hunt and enough of them is plenty to eat. It’s when the eagle is overly hungry that it risks grabbing the big catch — and being overwhelmed by its would-be dinner.
We can learn from the bald eagle. Most of our problems, thankfully, are small ones. Small problems are within our ability to solve and we can quickly overcome them and find peace. However, sometimes we procrastinate and we delay taking care of today’s concerns for one reason or another (we are always good at creating excuses). Little problems, predictably, don’t go away – most of our big difficulties are little problems that we ignored for too long. When we finally “lock our talons” into the big problem we might discover that we are unable to cope with it because we allowed it to grow for too long. Feeling overwhelmed, these big problems can weigh us down.
Right now there is probably a small problem that each one of us is ignoring. God has given us the ability to solve it ourselves or has given us enough support that with some help, we can overcome it together. We are, nevertheless, tempted by thoughts of procrastination – we convince ourselves that we can put our small problems off until tomorrow. Eventually every little problem will – without doubt – become a weighty one.
We should never allow little problems to become gigantic. It’ll take very little effort to solve your small problem today – make the phone call, drop the email, finish the project, etc. Pray for the strength to move forward and do it today – and let’s not permit ourselves to become like the desperately hungry eagles who get pulled under by the weight of their catch.