Column by Manning Pastor Sam Livingston: It's time to soar; don't stay on the tarmac


We all love the majestic American bald eagle. They are a sight to behold when they take flight, soar or come in for a landing. These birds are as much a part of our history as baseball, apple pie and Ford vehicles. The eagle, however, like any other bird, must mature to the point where it can take flight. As an eaglet, the little bird enjoys being fed by both parents until it can fly and hunt for itself. As the eaglet grows, sooner or later the nest becomes too small for its siblings and parents. Whenever this happens, it becomes apparent that the time has come for the eaglet to soar.

Human beings are very much like the eagles and the eaglets. We are born into this world, fed and nourished by our parents, and at some point in our young adult life, we take flight to pursue our dreams. In a perfect world, we expect life to unfold for us just like that. Life, however, doesn't always pan out the way we expect it to. Some plans assist in the thrusting of our dreams, pushing us to a comfortable height where we can soar, while other plans may fail countlessly, unable to give us the lift needed to get going.

I must say at this junction that it may not have been the plan that failed. A number of things may have contributed to one's inability to soar. The No. 1 thing that can prevent us from soaring is weight. Every aircraft has a weight limit. Once the weight capacity has been exceeded, the risk of leaving the ground to take flight becomes greater, simply because the engine installed to assist with flying has limitations. The engine might be able to struggle and get the aircraft into the air, but it might fail in midflight.

The writer in Hebrews penned these words, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," Hebrews 12:1.

The average person can identify the problem areas in his or her life. We know it is time to stop drinking alcoholic beverages because our internal organs are failing. So we quit drinking or die consuming. We slow down lying after we have been caught in dozens of lies. We quit being a glutton of food because we can't fit into any of our clothes anymore. So what do we do? We lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us.

Circumstances can force us to remove the weight of temptation and sin in order to reset our lives.

What about people? How do we handle those people in our lives that have succeeded in their quest to prevent us from soaring? Oftentimes this is done unintentionally. People don't purpose to keep us on the ground, but they do so without even acknowledging it. These are the people in our lives that we have been trying to get on board so that they can soar with us. We connect with them in all walks of life. We run out of fuel idling at the tarmac waiting for them to get on board. We find ourselves refueling over and over again, trying to load people who refuse to catch the dream or vision.

You will never soar to the altitude of your potential waiting on certain individuals to come aboard. At some point, you must find other ways to help those who you have been waiting on for years to share your possible fortunes with. Your time is running out, you are getting older, your resources are dwindling. It is time for you to soar! People are waiting on your product, they are waiting on your services, and others are starving for your wisdom. Conduct a final call, and prepare to soar. Hopefully they will be present at your next arrival and departure with a new sense of determination.

You cannot stay parked at the tarmac forever! You may have to fly solo.

Three, two, one, liftoff!

Sam Livingston is pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Manning.