Just like the birds

I was watching a bird sitting on a fence post. It was basically minding its own business and just being a bird. At one stage it hopped off the fence onto the ground and back up again. It’s quite a high fence and I was surprised at the hop. It didn’t even use its wings. Strong legs. Well, I looked at that bird and I realized that the bird was doing what it did best, and it was the best at doing what it was doing. In Matthew 6:26 Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow not reap not gather into barns; yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” I understand those words and I think everyone has heard them before. That’s quite a well know passage about telling us not to be anxious about where our next meal is coming from.

I looked at that bird and realized that because the bird wasn’t worrying about how to feed his family, he was absolutely focused on whatever he had to do right now. He wasn’t thinking about tomorrow morning’s breakfast or what his boss was going to be upset about or whether his wife was going to be annoyed when he got home. The commission on next month’s sales isn’t on his mind. All he’s concerned about is what’s right at hand. Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom  in the grave where you are going.” The Message interprets this verse as such, “Whatever turn up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it, for there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think in the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed.” I don’t think it can be put more plainly than that. Colossians 3:23, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.”

That is how we are supposed to be doing our jobs, running our businesses and our homes, ‘heartily as to the Lord.’ My husband always says that if something unexpected comes up just before he goes to play golf his whole game is upset because he is preoccupied. And that’s exactly what we are like. We are so preoccupied by everything going on in our lives, in our children and spouse’s lives, in the country and in the world that we can’t see the wood for the trees. We are so focused on all kinds of irrelevant things that we can forget about the really important issues. What are the really important things in our lives? Relationships, our relationship with our Savior, our relationship with our direct family and with friends are very important. Relationships were what Jesus was all about. He preached about love and about going out and making disciples. You cannot have, or be a disciple without a good two-way relationship. You aren’t going to learn much from someone you don’t get along well with. Fear and dislike are not conducive to learning.

And doing things with all your might. That’s important. You have to throw your whole weight behind whatever you are doing. Have you seen a healthy bird fly badly? Or halfheartedly? No, of course not. A bird was designed to fly and that’s what it does with all its might. It doesn’t catch a wobble mid-flight and decide it wasn’t called to fly after all. A bird doesn’t listen to the doubts that the enemy is so good at planting in our heads. It just flies and enjoys flying and revels in it. Some birds fly half way around the world twice a year without any navigation instruments or protective clothing. We are over cautious about visiting our next door neighbor because what if that’s not exactly what the Holy Spirit meant when he told us to, “go and pray for your neighbor, she’s not feeling well.” We really and truly have to get over ourselves and all our insecurities and become more like the birds. Let us start living with our hearts and our minds. Let us put joy into what we do and stop worrying so much about all the petty nonsense which is busy filling the space in our heads. Put Jesus into that space and start having fun!