‘The Way of an Eagle in the Air’, Prov. 30. 19.
Looking up into a clear blue sky it is possible to see the streaks of cloud that are the sign that an aircraft has passed at high altitude. These clouds are called ‘contrails’, which is short for ‘condensation trails’, and they are caused by water vapour that condenses around the soot from the plane’s exhaust to form cirrus streaks. Some meteorologists suggest that they can even be an indicator of weather patterns.
In contrast, Agur, the son of Jakeh, describes the way of an eagle in the air as ‘too wonderful for me’, v. 18. In many countries, especially with increasing urbanization, observing an eagle in flight is a rarity but those who have seen such an exhibition may well agree with Agur. As the eagle flies, it is impossible to know where it has been. Unlike the aircraft, there are no vapour trails or similar patterns that might aid the human brain to plot its path. Equally, the bird’s ability to soar and circle with relatively little effort is a testimony to the design of the Creator who has equipped it for its terrain and purpose. Holding their wings out, they rely upon rising air currents to gain altitude before gliding out of such thermals to move across the landscape. Remarkably, though some eagles are known to fly as high as 10, 000 feet, the clarity of their vision and ability to pick out their prey is also incredible. As one of the animals with the sharpest vision, it is suggested that the eagle’s eyesight is four to eight times stronger than the average human. For this reason, we speak of someone being ‘eagle-eyed’ if their ability to spot something is out of the ordinary.
Like Agur, such aspects of nature can teach us a great deal. Apart from the link between bird flight and aeronautics, they reveal something of the Creator and the miracle of creation. When the Lord answered Job, he made the remarkable statement, echoed by Agur, ‘therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not’, 42. 3. Appreciating something of the grandeur of creation and the Creator should cause us all to bow in humility and wonder.