Tag: Christian life

Which bird are you?

After walking around the lake, I sat down to rest and take in the view.  I was there earlier that morning and there must have been 70-80 graceful, delicate swallows swooping over the water.  They zigged and zagged, climbed, then dove down to touch the water for a drink.  Leaving behind a ripple, they darted away and looped around again.  It was hypnotizing to watch.

avian-1280582_1280

 

I picked out a single bird to study its pattern and see if I could predict when it would take its next drink.  I could not.  Sometimes, they would dive four or five times, only to suddenly veer away from the water before coming again to refresh themselves.

 

swan-1281217_1920

 

During this jumble of helter-skelter avionics, I noticed two large, graceful swans in another part of the lake gliding slowly through the water.  They looked regal, graceful, peaceful as they moved effortlessly on top of the water.

 

The whole scene brought to mind Christians in their daily lives.  Like the swallows, so many dart around in their busy schedules, stopping only for a brief moment to refresh themselves in the Holy Spirit.  A few others appear majestic and calm like the swans.   They seem to be more in touch with the Holy Spirit. And I thought how we should all be more like swans than swallows.

But then, I saw the bird I want to imitate.  An awkward looking bird, it rode very low in the water.  Only a bit of its back was showing with a dark, gangly neck and a small head pushing through the surface.  It seemed to be moving purposefully, but then disappeared completely under the water.

double-crested-cormorant-1367266_1920I was surprised when it reappeared, a full thirty seconds later, and quite a great distance away with a fish in its mouth!  This bird had totally submersed itself and traveled through the water to reach a purposeful destination!

This is how I want to be in Christ! Not dipping in here and there for a sip. Not floating on top with my feet dangling. But totally and completely submerged for long periods of time during which I accomplish much.

And in between submersion excursions, so covered by the Holy Spirit that I am more water than bird, more Spirit than self.

God shows me things in nature to teach me about Himself, and about myself. Can you see yourself in nature? In a flower?  In a bird?

Does something you see bring a greater understanding to your own circumstance?

Ask God to speak to you through His own creation. I believe as you listen, you will Hear More From God!

Advertisements

Freezing? Spring is coming!

 

frozen-18202_640Walking today, I noticed that all the way around the lake, the edges were frozen. There was a little water with a few birds in the very center causing small waves to break over the icy edge. As I took in the scene, I could almost hear God asking…”Have you frozen over too?”

Have we allowed the world to chill us to the point of freezing at our edges?

This hard, cold iciness lessens our sensitivity and makes us feel and act colder. When there is a frozen boundary, that separation creates an inability to make contact. We may say this boundary is our “margin of protection” from the cold, cruel world. But what is the effect?

When we’re frozen, we cannot sense the needs of those around us. And we can’t care for what we don’t perceive. So we act with less love and service to others. This also isolates us from being loved and served because without contact, others cannot perceive our needs either. The coldness is perpetuating, because, as we feel colder and retreat from others, they retreat from us.

We become used to the faces of suffering, and pass them by with skepticism. We have been so overexposed to such great needs that we feel helpless to make a difference. We respond to pleas for support with indifference.

Ever feel the wind blowing off a frozen lake? It is incredibly cold, even colder than the air around the lake. When your life of love and service has chilled, you will blow only a hard, icy draft onto those around you. The usual response to this is to wrap your scarf tighter around your face, pull your coat closer and speed up to get away as fast as possible. And as others turn and pull away from you, your ice thickens.

Usually, there is a beautiful reflection in the lake. But the ice spoils this beauty. Garbage and debris thrown or blown onto the lake now sits on top of the ice, giving it the appearance of an abandoned street littered with refuse. Normally, wave action moves trash to the edge where it can be collected and doesn’t spoil the view. Or, the debris sinks to the bottom, biodegrades, and raises the water level. When we are warm, we respond the same way. Circumstances that don’t fit us are discarded. Other things that happen, we take in and process, and hopefully grow from. But when we become frozen, those little obstacles or hurts are more apparent and longer lasting because we cannot absorb or wave them off. They just sit on our surface for all to see and mar the view.

When frozen, the lake not only looks hard and cold; it looks painful. I could see cracks all over the ice. Each one started with a point of impact and spread in all directions. This web of explosive damage could be traced and connected all around the lake. Our lives are so much more painful when we present a hard, cold surface to the world. We may think it insulates us, but it just creates a showplace for all the hurts that come our way.

This ice keeps water contained. In our lives this hard, icy exterior keeps us from being able to connect with others. Normally the lake accommodates incoming and outgoing water smoothly. Within that ability we have the give and take of accepting and forgiving. We are able to flow to others and overflow our own banks with God’s blessings. Other times we can pull back from overcommittment, from unwise decisions, from bad or dangerous situations.

We are told in scripture to “not withhold good when it is in our power to do it”, and “do not grow weary in doing good”. Ice keeps blessings in. Our cold, insensitive attitudes will tell us to keep what we have to ourselves, when we are called to share.

So how do you see yourself? Have you become less sensitive to those around you? Do others see your growth or your garbage? Are you reflecting God’s love or showing your pain-etched cracks? Are you passing on the blessings or have you frozen your assets?

The answer to a frozen life is the same as the frozen lake. The Son! Heat from the sun will thaw ice and melt it away. But the lake must wait on the seasons. The heat from the love of God’s Son can melt the coldness in your life now. And the good news is: you don’t have to wait. Jesus is here right now to release His heart-warming, ice-melting love into your life. All you have to do is ask.

As you warm up you can feel the needs of others and they can feel yours. As the icy border melts, you can have the contact necessary to interact and share with others, and they with you. This will help you expel the garbage and deal with difficulties. It will keep you from “cracking” under stress. It will allow you to share God’s blessing, and be blessed in return.

Don’t wait. The Son is shining!

 

Which bird are you?

avian-1280582_1280The other day, walking around the lake, I sat down to rest and watch. I was there early, and this morning, there must have been eighty graceful, delicate swallows swooping over the water. They zigged and zagged, climbed, then swooped down to touch the water for a drink. Leaving behind a ripple, they darted away and looped around again. It was hypnotizing to watch.

I picked out a single bird to study its pattern and see if I could predict when it would take its next drink. I could not. Sometimes, they would dive four or five times, only to suddenly veer away from the water before coming again to refresh themselves.

In the midst of this jumble of helter-skelter avionics, I noticed two large, graceful swans gliding slowly through the water. They looked regal and peaceful as they seemed to move effortlessly on top of the water.

swan-1281217_1920

The scene reminded me of Christians in their daily lives. Like the swallows, so many dart around in their busyness, stopping only for a brief moment to refresh themselves in the Holy Spirit. A few others appear majestic and calm like the swans. They seem to be more in touch with the Holy Spirit. And I thought how we should be more like Swans than Swallows.

But then, I saw the bird I want to imitate. An awkward looking bird, it rode very low in the water. Only a bit of its back was showing with a dark, gangly neck and a small head pushing through the surface. It seemed to be moving purposefully, but then disappeared totally under the water. I was surprised when it reappeared, a full thirty seconds later, and quite a great distance away! This bird had totally submersed itself in the water and traveled through it to reach a destination!

double-crested-cormorant-1367266_1920

This is how I want to be in Christ! – Not dipping in here and there for a sip; not floating on top with my feet dangling; but totally and completely submerged for long periods of time which accomplish much. And in between submersion excursions, so covered by the Holy Spirit that I am more water than bird, more Spirit than self.