Wisdom from a Gull

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Jonathan Seagull discovered that boredom, fear and anger were the reasons that a gull’s life was so short, and with this gone from his thought, he lived a long life indeed. — Richard Bach, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”


I’ve been spending my week meeting up with a little seagull on my morning beach run here in North Carolina. It reminded me of a favorite book of my mom’s when I was a child — “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.”

Whenever we went to the beach and a seagull would swoop in trying to snatch anything that would drop from our lunch — a piece of bread, a potato chip, a piece of crumbled cookie — my mom would wistfully say, “I wonder if that one is Jonathan Livingston Seagull?” Of course, the gull trying to steal our lunch wasn’t.

Anyone who has read the book, which was published in 1970, would remember that Jonathan was the gull not interested in his next meal. He knew there was more in life than chomping on chum from a fisherman’s boat. Jonathan wanted to fly higher than gulls thought possible. He dared to dream the dream he heard about from the mythical “Great Seagull,” who even to my young ears, I always heard as “God” instead. After all, didn’t God want me to soar to greater things?

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they see is limitation,” Bach writes in the book that sold over a million copies.

This week, as I find rest and healing at the ocean I find myself revisiting the wisdom and the lessons of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. What are my eyes really telling me?

Stay tuned as you will meet my seagull friend in a future “Worship at Old Stone Well Farm” video. (I am now turning off the computer and resuming my vacation!)

Blessings! Pastor Donna