Thursday, July 25, 2013

More Than Bird-Watching

Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?”

Clark's Nutcracker at Crater Lake National Park
I love watching birds. While they seem to fly to and fro with purpose they don’t seem stressed in the process. When the robins light on our yard in search for worms and other delightful (to them) proteins they do so with a bounce. The sparrows and other small birds jump from branch to branch seeking food or items for their nests. The pair of doves rest on the wires, and the flickers and woodpeckers go from tree to telephone pole to even the side of our buildings in search for bugs, and they keep coming back even at early hours of the morning almost as an alarm clock. The seasonal birds come and go year after year filling our skies and bringing color into our lives, and with all of them there are their own sights and sounds that fill our eyes and ears. And of course, there is the majesty of the great birds of prey such as the eagle and the osprey that float the skies with their incredibly sharp eyes searching their next meal. It’s no wonder to me that bird watching is such a favorite activity.

I've loved watching birds for a long time, even as a youth being a member of the Junior Audubon society. But I've found over the years that even when I have the time I don’t take advantage of it to sit back and watch and listen. However, birds and their beauty have influenced my hobbies in that when I was looking for something to fill my time after the Northridge earthquake in 1994, I started making whirly-gigs and not just any whirly-gigs. I chose to look up my favorite birds in my Audubon and other books and design them into whirly-birds, even doing little write-ups on each of them. Now as I cut and sand and paint them my mind finds time to relax.

Today Sarah writes about as we listen to the birds calling to one another that we are also to be mindful of God’s Love-call to us—His constant presence evidenced in the various ways in which He makes Himself known. Both require setting aside time to sit back—resting, watching, and listening. And as the birds do not disappoint, neither does our God when we spend time with Him—more than filling our hearts and minds. I just need to make sure when I do this that I am not more focused on identifying the species, recording its call and its habits, and tracking its every activity. While I might find great joy in the investigation, I also then tend to turn this time of connection into a task. Similarly, with God I need to set aside those times where I set aside my agendas and just be present with my always present God, and if I then run afterwards from there onto a joy-filled rabbit trail (mixed metaphor) so much the better.

Isaiah 40:31 Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

Oh, for better eyes to see….

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (7/25)

As you listen to birds calling to one another, hear also My Love-call to you. I speak to you continually: through sights, sounds, thoughts, impressions, Scripture. There is no limit to the variety of ways I can communicate with you. Your part is to be attentive to My messages, in whatever form they come. When you set out to find Me in a day, you discover that the world is vibrantly alive with My Presence. You can find Me not only in beauty and bird-calls, but also in tragedy and faces filled with grief. I can take the deepest sorrow and weave it into a pattern for good.

Search for Me and My messages, as you go through this day. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with your whole being.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. Romans 8:28 (AMP)

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

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