- Henry Prater
Another Lesson from a Bird
Happy Monday Edgemont! A few of us have still been thinking about the bird that visited with us a couple of Sundays ago. It was engrossing to watch that little bird, full of tenacity, trying to get into the sanctuary in multiple spots. That was one lesson, but there is still more that we can learn from it. Part of that is understanding why the bird was trying to get in the sanctuary.
According to an article from allaboutbirds.org, birds will often try to get into windows because they see the reflection of vegetation in the window (https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/why-birds-hit-windows-and-how-you-can-help-prevent-it/). They think they see a new source of food or shelter and try to get to it. So, while the bird could be admired for its tenacity, it is mistaken about what it sees. This mistake can have dire consequences for the bird, if it does not learn or see its error. (To the best of my knowledge, our bird flew away unharmed.)
This strikes me as a great reminder for us, as Christians who can also be victims of misunderstanding, misinformation, and misplaced assumptions. When we find ourselves in that kind of situation, we would be wise to not follow the example of our bird friend and just keep pressing on. It would be better for us to pause, take stock and evaluate why we are having such trouble. That is why the spiritual practices we engage in during the season of Lent are so important. God’s Spirit can use these to help us develop and refine our spiritual life and be better prepared to stop or avoid dangerous situations of misunderstanding. Paul exhorts in Romans 12:1-2,
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
When we offer ourselves to the Lord by committing to spiritual disciplines (prayer, fasting, study, acts of kindness), we allow ourselves to be shaped by God into the follower of Christ we are called to be. We can learn the difference between truth and falsehood and grow in our discernment. Let us learn from the birds; let us learn from the wisdom of the Lord; let us learn to walk away from those mistaken ideas and into the truth as the Holy Spirit leads us.