Sometimes You Just Need To Go Bird Watching
By Jan Chapman
Finally spring had sprung! I ventured out in hopes to view some of the migrating birds. Bird watching is a beautiful and peaceful pastime. Each have their own unique beauty, sing wonderful songs, and are free to go far and wide across the earth. Anywhere! I believe they are of one of the most wonderful creatures God has made. Created so we can appreciate freedom. Yet it’s better than that. Do you realize they always get what they need? Whenever I see birds I remember from Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or gather the harvest into barns. Yet, your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?”
I drove to my destination to the nearby dam on the Mississippi. It was a beautiful day in May and everyone had come out of his or her homes to enjoy. Many were relaxing, getting exercise and spending time with their families. Children whizzed by on their bikes, the parents not far behind.
Seeing the dam up close and personal gave me pause. The crushing power was incredible. Water is really amazing and epitomizes incredible opposites. It can be quiet and still as glass, or a thundering roar; it can be cold or hot, or crushing and painful. While the water roared below the dam, calm waters were on the north side of the dam. This is where most of the birds flew about capturing bugs, completely safe.
Eventually, at the river’s edge I found an Osprey nest high upon a DNR platform. To my surprise a Bald Eagle in a nearby tree was observing something below. As I came closer, suddenly from the tall grass arose what looked like periscopes. But these… honked! Canadian Geese were in the field, and they raised their heads and started to honk a warning to the flock. Honk, honk, honk! I looked around wondering what was up. They were warning each other about… lil’ old me!
Consider… twenty huge angry birds coming after me protecting their flock.
The geese were oblivious to the Bald Eagle quietly observing them from high above… the real danger that could swoop down and capture their young goslings. Hello, my honking friends? Do you see the predator above? I shook my head.
The deafening roar punctuated the wild bouncing. Every few seconds it appeared as if they would be freed from the power of the dam, yet the water’s movement held them in a chaotic pattern. It was mesmerizing. I watched for a few minutes, mentally urging the objects to bounce to their freedom. It became apparent that they were forever trapped. No one could possibly get them out. Chaos, they were trapped in a world of chaos. I imagined that eventually they would lose flotation, only to be slammed downward into the water never to be seen again.
As I continued walking, I asked, “Why am I here, Lord?” Then this verse came to mind: “I trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge Him and He directs my paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6). I simply needed to… keep walking. There was more.
As I walked the lessons emerged. Consider the geese that kept insisting on alerting the flock to the present “danger” in front of them. Yet they did not see the eagle above. Hidden danger. What is lurking high above us, waiting to swoop down and snatch our loved ones? The geese were reacting by instinct yet not seeing the true danger. Aren’t we often like these geese, sensing something is wrong yet not able to put our finger on it? We lift our heads to check out the alert that everyone is yelling about. Perhaps it’s not the real problem. Or, like the flock of geese from years ago, we follow the crowd because, well, it’s our crowd!
Is there a better way? Of course there is! If we take time to open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, we are able to see the truth with much greater clarity. That’s why it says in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Be still, God will guide you.
My thoughts then drifted back to the objects churning in the water. No one could possibly free their demise. The noise, the raging water with a deafening roar, seemed not only impossible to overcome it also trapped the attention of anyone that happened by.
The chaos was mesmerizing…
But is this trap of raging confusion what we should focus on? No!
Somehow, can’t we turn away? We live in an immediate world. We are the happy recipients of instant information. A world of confusion and conflict, and so many warnings.
What harm does useless distraction and conflicting information do to our lives? What are we not doing because we are mesmerized? Are we observant enough to heed the true warnings? Hey, look over there, “Honk!” Others think we are in obvious danger. Yet is it? Should this even be on my radar? What exactly am I flying into?
We may not even see the real problems in our lives. What then? What THEN?
Snap out of it!
Then it struck me, the real message. We need to be rescued and not get dragged in to the chaos.
Is our destination the confusion, or the bright hope and future that God has for us. The enemy makes the things of God seem foolish to us, and the things of our senses seem wise. Remember, our focus becomes our destination. I thought of the eagle, peering on all below with amazing eyesight ready to capture his prey with laser focus. On the other hand, consider the last time you were confused. Did you see clearly? No. Never lose sight!
Remember the quiet, the birds, and the promise that the Lord even feeds the birds of the sky. Aren’t we worth more?
God does provide, is always there, and does not fill us with confusion. Our lives are meant to be full of peace! He gives us sound minds. He bids us to be wise, to ask for His help. He waits patiently for us to follow Him. His word IS the solid rock on which we can stand. How do we get this? By immersing ourselves in the word of God. If we read, ask, and simply listen, He has already given us the plans that will help us to ensure we have a hope and a future.
Be careful of churning waters. If you have fallen, now is the time to be rescued. The priorities of life are so much easier to see when we protect ourselves from the world’s chaotic grip. What are God’s plans for your life? Have you asked Him? He bids you to come, to ask. Then listen. He will lead you to your destiny.
Don’t let the confusion of the world steal your joy. Fly on the calm side of life.
As Paul wrote in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Some days it is better to focus on the birds of the sky. Go bird watching. Then you will see.
Aren’t you worth more than they?