The sparrow fluttered its wings, feet still grazing the dirt and sand below it. It went no where. Resting for a short spell, it once again worked its wings, attempting to leave the Earth, but to no avail. I squinted in the morning light, curious as to why. Then I saw the long strand of torn hay netting, stretching from the small bird's beak across the sunlit gravel. The nester could not take flight because the burden she wished to bring with her was too large for her to carry. Freedom was in her wings, but she could not grasp it without letting go of the netting.
Obviously the sparrow felt this material was important for the nest she wished to build because she spent some time trying to make it work.
It made me think of the earthly things we cling to as well. We long for freedom in Christ, but we are determined to bring out baggage with us--we don't want to let go. So we flutter and try and fall and wear ourselves out. We are driven mad by the liberty to be had, but we simply cannot let go of that so important material that we want to bring with us. We don't want to accept the life Jesus has for us unless it includes what we hold so tightly to.
Finally, with one last look at the hay netting, the bird dropped the strand it had tried so hard to carry and flew away, free and light.
I don't think we always get to drop our burdens so easily, but in letting go we do get to experience true freedom--not only in flight, but in no longer "needing" what we thought we needed. We drop our addictions and find life full in purpose without them as we come under the Master's training.