Kingdom Culture: Bird watching for the soul.I’m not a big bird watcher, in fact, I don’t really know what constitutes bird watching… but the other day I watched a bird for what felt like at least 15 minutes, and it was good, it was good for my soul.
In the Bible, Matthew 6:26 encourages us to look at / behold the birds of the air. To consider their ways, and how they don’t plant or harvest food, they have no future storage system, and yet they are fed. The verse goes on to encourage us that we as people are more important than a bird, and so we seriously shouldn’t be filled with worry.
As I watched this bird, that verse came to my mind.
Look at the birds…
I usually glance at a bird, I do not look at them intently. Yet doing so taught me so much, and I’d love to share my experience and my observations with you.
This was my experience. It was early morning as I sat with this bird. I was sitting on a reclining chair and this bird, with it’s big black and white neck and long beak, sat on a deck. The bird sat for what quite some time, resting. It was as if the bird were waking up from a sleep and I saw it stretch, and then begin to clean itself. The bird stretched down and cleaned it’s feet, then moved along the entirety of it’s body, ruffling up and drying it’s feathers. When finished, this bird gently took off for a perch above a building. From this spot I watched the bird look left and right, high and low, as if to decide where it would go for the day, and then, just like that something caught the bird’s attention and off it flew.
I observed the following that I can see applying to my life (and quite possibly yours);
The bird never once looked insecure or doubting in it’s routine or identity. It didn’t try to be anything other than the bird it was. It did not mind that I was watching it either, in fact all it cared for was being a bird. It simply was being what it was created to be, and it took it’s time to get ready for the day it was created for. How often do I awake and think of what I need to do to impress those that are watching my life? How often do I question my role in life, my primary identity and function? I know that God created me to love Him and love others, but how often do I start my day with this as my default? Through this beautiful bird I was reminded, “be the human-being you were created to be. You don’t have to try to be anything other than God’s son (or for some readers, daughter). Wake up and be. Don’t rush to do. Just be. Let your routine come out of who you are.
The bird’s morning routine prioritized what was needed for the day, being clean and dry and ready to fly. The muck of the night before had to be left down there on the floor… (poet, I know it). The bird was able to fly off with ease for the bird had taken care of anything that could hinder it, before rising up into the day. Jesus is so amazing, He washes us whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7), and when we accept His new life He tells us that we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We don’t have to carry the old life into the new. We get to drop everything that wants to drop us, and fly free. As I think about this I can’t help but pray, “Father thank you for taking all that holds me back away, thank you that I am new every day!” Start your day thanking God for the freedom He brings (or asking Him to come and bring it) and stretch out your renewed and cleansed life before the Son.
The bird flew to a high perch to get it’s direction for the day. In the same way, we should seek to rise up to God’s level to get our direction for all that we do. Come to God, enter His throne room and ask Him what His plans are for the day, and then head that way. God’s ways are always better than ours- His plans are what we need to succeed, and we don’t need to strive when we know we are in His slipstream and going after the food that He has already generously provided. Get His perspective, get up high and then launch out and fly. Indeed for me this is my current season, seeking His face for what He has for me next. It’s not always easy to sit, perched up, and it can seem like a challenge to pray through to such heights, but there is nothing better for the journey ahead than starting out from a place of love and His perspective from above.
So, my friends, I pray you were blessed by my observations. Next time you catch a flash of feathers in your periphery, I encourage you to look, to behold, to consider, the birds. You are so precious and so loved.
Andrew (this blog originally appeared on pastorandrew.blog)