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“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.”
– GENESIS 1: 21-22
In the springtime here on our little homestead, the advent of spring is evident. We see and hear that the birds have arrived and are in their element. In the morning, we can hear them singing their songs. The robins are doing their duties in building nests and preparing for their families. They are almost a nuisance. We planted our early garden a few weeks ago and within 2 days the onion patch was destroyed. I don’t see the thrill that the robins get from pulling up onion plants and scattering them around the garden, but they do. We replanted them the second time with no better results. The third time we had to replant with new plants because they scattered them to an unsalvageable condition. As trying as it is, we must remember that God created them and there is some purpose in that little brain of theirs.
The little wren started a nest in our maple tree in front of the house. I am always challenged by the tiny wren. It is so small, yet has such a powerful voice. The cute little bird flits around, careful to stay just out of arms reach. Its nest is so small that it is hard to find until winter, when the leaves are off. As summer approaches, we look forward to the hearty serenading of the wren’s warble. It is unbelievable what commences from this bird’s throat. I am constantly reminded that no matter how small we may be, God has a purpose for us. We are just asked to give our best. I am reminded of the following passage just by observing this little bird. Do we have his peace and purpose?
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3: 15-17
Our neighbor has one of those old-fashioned windmills that is set up forty feet from my office window. It is a picture of rare beauty on a clear sunny morning. When we hear the cheery, “Wet, wet, wet, wet, wet” I can usually expect to see the brilliant red cardinal perched on top of the windmill and caroling forth his song.
The one bird that I look for every year is the Mockingbird. It is not a beauty to look at, but it is a lesson in life. He has no song for himself. Yet he is constantly busy. His expertise is mimicking others. If I hear a cacophony of birds in song back to back, then I know to look for him. He will be the robin, cardinal, wren, and many others in sequence. I am curious why he was created this way. He is master of acting. If he were to focus on a song of his own, it would be marvelous what he could sing. However, all he does is copy others.
I can usually find him at the very top of the tallest tree in the yard. There he perches in all his drab mouse gray glory, soliloquizing all that he hears around him. When he has sung his mimicry he will fly or jump straight up in the air about ten feet and then nosedive back down to his perch to repeat in encore. It seems as if he knows that he has no song for himself and so is determined to show that he can not only sing what everyone else does, but is also a superior by his physical feats that no other bird performs. What is ironic is that this is always done at the very highest point available in sight.
I have thought that it is kind of like a person that battles insecurity. He will sing the song of everybody that he can, and try to do some ignoble feat that no one else does, but is really of no beneficial consequence. He is always the loudest to be heard when he is at it and will repeat this act over and over again. It will usually be done in a manner that cannot be missed. This bird cannot process nor has the ability to change this habit of his. However, we as humans have the ability to change. If we can only forget about mimicking everyone around us and focus on using the talents and gifts that God gave us, we can do much to benefit the world around us. God has a plan for everyone and we need to fulfill that purpose. We need to always be mindful that beneath a blustering reputation could lie a hurting heart. What can we do to bring out the full potential?
The other bird that is of worthy note is the busy Bluebird. You don’t hear a lot from this one. He is merely in the background and does his job. What, we may ask, is his job? He will be busy feeding his young with the insects and such that he catches while flitting around the fields and gardens. His brilliant blue plumage adds to the natural palette of color that God’s creation surrounds us with. As I said, not one to stop you in your tracks with a song, but we will always marvel at his rare beauty and simplicity. The bluebird is like the person that is quiet and industrious. His work is done in an efficient manner but without fuss and ado. We don’t know what we miss until we don’t have them.
The last creature that we will make mention of is one that makes the shivers race up and down the spine of many a person. This is the “sinister” bat. Chilling to look at, yet needful for the environment. He is up and at it when all else is asleep. He helps to keep the bloodthirsty mosquito population under control. Why is it that we complain about the bothersome mosquitoes and then duck in dread when a bat flies past us at dusk? It is a job that needs done, dirty and deplorable though it may be. We complain about the mosquitoes and then do our very best to eradicate the bat from our close proximity. Oh, I know, they are not a pleasure to be close to. I have some that took residence in my barn the last few years. I appreciate what they do and welcome them to have their cool dark corner. It is interesting to hear them scold in their harsh chirping manner. It does elevate the heart rate a bit if I forget about them and all of a sudden, a quick flash goes past my head. A few weeks ago one evening, I had as close a shave as ever with one. I was taking the horse into the barn after dark and whistling a merry tune. My shrill whistle must have confused its radar because suddenly there was a flurry of activity right at my ear. The poor bat collided with my head just as I entered the doorway. He could not leave fast enough to get out of my way. I can no longer assure my brother-in-law that his mortal fear of bats is vain. A bat can actually collide with a person.
How often do we scorn that humble person that appears to be of no use to society just because they are not out and about in the limelight? We think that because they are not being seen involved in any thrilling or important task they are of baser rank than we ourselves. Really? Would we be willing to do the duties that they fulfill? How do we respond to the person that might not be as attractive or intelligent as we consider ourselves to be? Do we shun or try our level best to keep them out of our “social circles”? Remember that we all have a purpose to fulfill in our life. Every person has a talent that can be used to benefit those around them. It is up to us to recognize and use these talents and people. We need them all, not just those like us. All our efforts combined make this world a better place. We cannot all just sing or perform in the forefront. We also need some of us to do the work that others despise, and they deserve the same respect as those at the front lines of publicity.
Another miracle of spring is the birth of creation. It thrills my heart to see dormancy break forth into bloom. It is amazing that a tree’s most beautiful time is right after the ugliness of dormancy. Is this not like to a person that just discovered that they are worth something in this world? We are transformed from the despondency of worthlessness to the realization that we do count as valuable. The fresh bloom that comes into our lives exudes a fragrance of vitality, same as a tree is fragrant with the blossoms of future fruit. As time passes, the humdrum time of summer will come and we are asked to put all into bearing fruits. It is not as exciting and invigorating as the blossom stage, but in the end the fruits are well worth the labor. The taste of a fresh apple or peach is a reminder that life need not be all roses to be counted as sweet and worthy.
“The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much, but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.” Proverbs 5: 12