All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.
Hebrews 11:13-14The kolea bird.
It is native to the Pacific region.
Its breeding grounds run from northern Asia to the coasts of Alaska.
And its migratory path takes it all the way down to the region of Australia, with pit stops along the islands dotting the Pacific.
For such a little bird, it travels a mighty way.
It was the ancient Polynesians who watched the nomadic habits of the kolea. They knew it would appear over the Polynesian skies during certain parts of the year heading south.
And they knew in another part of the year they would witness the flocks heading north.
As a sea-faring people, the Polynesians began to track the northward migration of the kolea. It was their assumption that the birds must be stopping to rest on some island chain the Polynesians had yet to discover.
And so, at the northward migration of the kolea each year, a canoe of Polynesian sailors would head out to the spot where the kolea had been spotted the year before and the sailors would wait for the flocks again to appear overhead. And the chase would resume, with the kolea eventually outpacing the paddle strokes of the Polynesians.
Careful observations would be made as to where they lost sight of the birds.
GPS by starlight and horizon.
And this information would be passed on to the next group of sailors.
So it went.
For four hundred years.
Until the day came that the volcanic peaks of Hawaii would appear in the vision of the Polynesian seafarers, the island chain that would become their new home.
Four hundred years.
When we are following the travel paths of the Holy Spirit, His dove-like contrail whispering to our hearts, we head toward a horizon that can seem out of our vision.
But we carry forth.
We may be the sailors in our line that are first generation believers. We jump into our canoes of faith and begin charting the seas of belief, beginning the journey.
We may have the collected observation of a couple generations previous to us. We can sail out to the grounds of their examples, their witness. And we look for signs of Him overhead.
And a fortunate few of us, while still living on this earth, may actually see come to fruition the progress of those who came before us.
We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, indeed. And when we draw on the Spirit's direction and the discipling of our spiritual mentors, we sail further into the waters of faith.
And make that much more progress for those who come after us.
Until the shores of eternity lap at feet.