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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Doing a little rebuild?

In the past week, we have had many windy day.  I like the winds, as long as they are gentle and don't disrupt too much stuff.  It is springtime, so those winds help to spread the pollen and clear away clinging debris high up into the trees which needs to be shed for the new growth of the season.  I have a hard littered with pine cones from the two trees in the front, remaining firmly attached until put under the pressure of the winds which finally caused them to fall to the soft green grass below.  I know these winds are one way God designed for the seeds to be spread.  Yet, when I look at the tiny birds who have spent the past weeks busying themselves with the work of nest building and then depositing their tiny eggs high up in those tree branches, it is sad to see their nests (or their eggs) join those pine cones!  For several years now, I have been enjoying the Mourning Doves who frequent these trees each springtime.  I listen early in the morning and up till sunset as they echo their little coos to each other.  This year, some yellow-breasted finches made their way into my backyard elm tree.  What a wee little nest they make!  Even though the nests or their young didn't fair well during the storms, those birds aren't daunted by the storms.  In fact, they are all busy rebuilding their "homes".  I am inspired by their resilience even when the pressures of life seem to be working against them!

The forests are Yours, Eternal One—stout hardwoods watered deeply, swollen with sap—like the great cedars of Lebanon You planted, where many birds nest.  There are fir trees for storks, high hills for wild goats, stony cliffs for rock badgers. For each place, a resident, and for each resident, a home. (Psalm 104:16-18 VOICE)

Some lessons we can learn from our feathered friends:

- When it is time to be active with the work of preparing for the young we are to nurture, there is no time for laziness. Those tiny creatures seem to instinctively know when the season is "right" for them to set about building their nests and laying their eggs.  It is as though they sense the change in weather from cold to warm and begin to set about finding the choicest of articles with which to build their nests for their young.  They will work tirelessly from sun up to sun down in search of the right twig, piece of string, grass, or soft object they can somehow incorporate into the future home of their young.  Hours of flight, carefully selecting, then skillfully interweaving those fragments into a secure place for their young.  They have no time for lolly-gagging around, pecking for food in the grass and lazing on the fence line in the sun of the day.  This is the season they are to be "at work" and they embrace it with gusto.  We often set to work, only to get side tracked by other things.  Maybe we need to consider the birds and their tenacious determination to do what needs to be done until it is done!

- They know when it is time to just be silent and wait.  The wee bird prepares the nest only to wait a little longer to see what will be yielded by all their efforts.  Each egg may hold the potential of a new life, dependent totally upon them for their every meal until the day comes they will be able to find their own.  Yet, in those moments between the egg and the moment they hatch into new life, there is this season of waiting.  Those birds may want to "be done with it" as it applies to waiting around, but they don't abandon their post. Diligently they tend the nest, shoring up the edges, nestling those little eggs under the warmth of their feathers.  It is their time to wait - and wait they do!  Birth takes time.  New life isn't instantaneous - it is a process - one which requires tremendous preparation and often peaceful endurance to "wait it out".

- They aren't daunted by the storms.  The winds of life come for the birds and us alike.  When the nest is disturbed by those winds, it isn't the end for the birds.  Instead of abandoning it, they shore it up, rebuilding the weak places, preparing for the next attempt to bear their young.  Not every attempt we make in life will be immediately successful.  I noted several barely born young didn't survive the storms. Yet, their parents weren't stopped by the disappointment of losing what they worked so hard to produce.  Not everything which is "born" in our lives will come to full growth - sometimes there are times when we will face the disappointment of loss in order to grow strong in our efforts to see the next growth God will bring forth from within us. It isn't easy, but it is worth being tenacious to do what we know needs to be done.  The storms don't need to stop us either. Instead of abandoning the nest, we might just need to rebuild, refortify, and nestle down to wait it out once again. We never know just how much of a blessing this can be! Just sayin!