Consider the Birds

Perched bird.

Photo: Julia Ozab

I’m in a bit of a conundrum when it comes to my blog. First off, I’m a writer–if I wasn’t I wouldn’t use the word “conundrum.” And as a writer I need to find an audience. In the 21st Century, that means the Internet. As an up-and-coming writer, I need a net presence (blog and/or social media) or I’m invisible. So I need to put myself out there, but then I see my hits and follows and like stagnating while others’ seem to skyrocket and I wonder what I’m doing wrong.

I get so frustrated that I don’t want to blog or tweet or post or pin (or whatever) anymore. That’s the other reason why I’ve been so quiet. Yes, I was fighting a bad chest cold for most of May, but the slowdown began before that. Because the burnout began before that.

So what does this have to do with birds?

Two weekends ago, I took a day off, got away from my laptop, and drove to the Finley Wildlife Refuge with my wife and daughter. Birds were everywhere. We could see them flitting from tree to tree, but even when we couldn’t see them we could hear them.

At the first stop, while Julia and Anna had their cameras out waiting to spot a bird on a perch or in flight, I stood still, closed my eyes, and listened.

I heard music, a counterpoint of bird songs in surround sound. And through that wondrous polyphony, God spoke to me.

Listen to “the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” –Matthew 6:26

And I realized that all the worry wouldn’t add one more view, one more click, or one more meaningless web stat. That’s not why I write anyway. I write to capture just a snippet of the profound beauty we all experience in life.

And I was more inspired in that moment than I could be by a year’s worth of tweets or posts. Because in that moment, I got in touch with the Source of everything.

So consider the birds singing, or the leaves whispering their secrets to each other in a nearby tree, or a child praising her Creator in her infectious laugh. Consider the ongoing symphony, sonata, and song multiplied by a million that God conducts for his and our pleasure every day.

And leave tomorrow for tomorrow. That’s how I plan to write, blog, and live from now on.

With God’s help, I pray, at those times that I will inevitably stumble.




Original photo: D. Sharon Pruitt (CC BY 2.0) via Wikimedia Commons.

To see the world through a child’s eyes again.

Everything bigger, more mysterious, and a little bit scary but wonderful all at the same time.

So many possibilities. So much to learn.

No bad decisions to regret. No roads not taken. No second guessing.

Nothing but possibilities and potential.

That’s what the world looks like through a child’s eyes. Big, bright, and beautiful. Everything that will happen is yet to happen.

It’s hard for adults to see the world that way. We have pasts. Regrets. Roads untraveled. We look back at everything we’ve done and at every choice we’ve made and wonder “what if?”

And it’s not the “what if?” that’s the problem, it’s the direction we’re looking.

When children wonder “what if?” they’re looking forward, not back.

That’s the difference. It’s what would change if we looked though a child’s eyes again. And it’s why Jesus said that “unless you . . . become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

It’s a different way of looking at the world, and a necessary one. For “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5) We are created for joy.

And it’s only when we see like children again that we understand.

Five Minute Friday