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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lessons I've Learned From Birds

Ever notice birds? I mean really notice. They can teach us a thing or two about life, about God, about the way to do things. The Bible talks about birds--a lot. In conversation the other day, a friend disclosed a comment made by her husband. In reference to their business and the economy, he said he wasn't worried because God feeds the birds. In context, his intimation was that he didn't have to do anything but wait for God to fix things. Yet, nowhere does the Bible say that birds sit idly on tree limbs with their mouths open waiting for God to dump in a worm. God supplies their feed but they have to actively seek it.

I wonder how many of us, sit, twiddling, waiting for God to do everything? Do you think He tires of our lazy passivity?

Some time ago, a family of crows decided to take up residence in a tree just outside my bedroom window. All went well until it was time to kick Junior out of the nest. Crows cawing is one of the most annoying sounds on the planet. I woke to a constant carping from this irksome creature. Storming outside to see what was going on and why I was being deprived of sleep, I discovered that Junior (nearly as big as Mother Crow) sat next to her with his mouth open insisting she feed him. Mother's answer? She pecked him in the head. Two or three more times he tried and then decided to flap over to Father Crow and try his luck there. Cawing in desperation now, he sat next to Dad with his mouth open. Father's answer? He pecked his son in the head. Three or four more times the youngster begged and received the same treatment. Then, the light dawned and Junior flapped off the branch and into the skies. Poor thing had to feed himself.

You can learn a lot from birds--even annoying ones.

It put me in mind of us as Christians. How long do we attend church expecting the pastor to do all the feeding and we all the receiving? Do we rely solely on the pastor to give us doses of the Word? When was the last time you fed yourself? The last time you read and studied the Bible on your own? There is great benefit in developing this discipline. Pastor won't be around forever, governments are changing daily, stripping away our religious freedoms.

It isn't the pastor's job to continually feed children that refuse to feed themselves. In reflecting on the crow family, I wonder whether it might not benefit the Body of Christ if pastors began to peck us in the head. There's a dying, wounded world around us; they are in peril of their eternal lives. That's the truth of it. And, when we refuse to become responsible, spiritual adults, they will suffer for it. This is not to say you no longer need the church, on the contrary, as you grow in maturity, you'll need it more but feed on your own as well.

I encourage you to learn from the birds. Take the leap off the branch and into the air, feeding yourself. What a magnificent change from sitting, squawking for tidbits from our spiritual mentors. You're strong enough, you can do it.


shanchere said...

I love this "bird" lesson. What loving parents the little crow had! Even the head pecks where to encourage their son to grow. Pain sometimes is our best teacher and motivator. We Christians can be very lazy until we start to feel the hunger pains of life. Then when our pastor or the other saints don't do it all for us, we are forced to seek out our own food. Lord, make us hungry for You and Your word; only then will we seek and find You. Lord, give me a peck on the head.

A_Heart_Like_Mine said...

You are so on! But I do love crows! 8^) Great picture of how we want to sit and be tended to... Reminds me of Jeremiah when the evil king burned 20 years of work writing out the scrolls with the Word of God--the Lord essentially said "Get up and do it again." Kicks us out of complacency when the Lord says just do it! Great inspiration for me today. Thanks!

Meg Stenman said...

Loved this so much... Not only did it it home personally, but wondering if you would mind if I had my staff read this at our August in-service (I'm a preschool director at a Christian church and have a staff of 10 awesome teachers). Thanks much for the uplifting "kick in the behind!" :)

Debbie said...

Very well stated. This post goes right along with messages from our pastor recently. Well done.

Cathy Taylor said...

Very appropriate lesson especially given that I am pursuing a an entrepreneurial initiative that God placed on my heart. I look forward to getting over my own inhibitions and moving outside the self-imposed rules that I have placed on my life. It's time to take a leap of faith. Your blog came to me as a result of you choosing to follow me on Twitter. Given the relevance of your subject matter, perhaps I should follow you to get more inspiration as I embark in a new venture in my life. Thank you!

Debra Stokes said...

What a fantastic post! Excellent message, well delivered!

We do get used to being "spoon-fed" as Christians. We need to move from the milk to the meat of the Word.

Thank you for sharing your insight - directly from The Holy Spirit.

Sarahlcc said...

The verse "your are worth more than many sparrows" has come to me in three different contexts today, yours being the third. I enjoyed your post, and look forward to reading more.

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