Going to the Birds (Is Not a Bad Thing)

birds
Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/vinothchandar/6874560581/">Vinoth Chandar</a>

Luke 12:24

Take the birds, for instance. They don’t invest in the market, or sweat over commodities futures. They don’t have bank accounts, or investment portfolios. But God provides what they need to get by.

This is Jesus’ remedy for the “if only” syndrome.

If only I had this. If only that would happen. If only someone would come around. If only I had that kind of job (instead of this one). If only…

It can go on forever. Even if you strike it rich, some other “if only” will come up.

Birds do what birds do. Every day. There is no “if only” for a bird. There is no waiting to fly. It’s only a matter of spreading your wings and pushing off.

Be Aware. Be Courageous.

file cabintes
Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bennyseidelman/5705184567/">Ben Seidelman</a>

Matthew 13:44

The goal is like the idea for the next Facebook buried in a filing cabinet in a company records room. Someone finds it, and tucks it back away, then goes and cashes out all her stock options, and buys out the company.

This single verse koan requires two essential things.

First, you have to recognize the treasure for what it really is before you can cash in your chips for it. Opportunities come to those who are aware enough to notice what others pass by.

Second, but no less important, you have to have the courage to cash in your chips. And it’s not fear of failure that holds most of us back. Exactly the opposite is the case: we’re more often paralyzed by fear of what will become of us if we succeed.

You Have to Grow Up

Peter Pan and Wendy
Image Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/caseydavid/5562392532/">Casey Muir-Taylor</a>

Galatians 4:1-3

Here’s the bottom line. Even if you’re the heir to a fortune, if you’re still a minor, you have to do as you’re told. You have a guardian looking after you until you grow up. God’s promise works the same way. It doesn’t do you any good until you grow up.

By “grow up” I mean, take responsibility. Make your own decisions. Take action.

Some children I know do this better than some adults I know. (You can probably think of a few instances of this, too!)

The bottom line (and I think Paul is essentially right on this one) is that you can’t truly experience “salvation” (human life in all it’s fullness) so long as others are calling the shots for you.

For some, there really is someone who’s exercising power and control over their lives. (Exercising inappropriate power and control over someone is a classic definition of abuse.) For some, it may be co-dependency of some kind or another. For some, it may be feigned helplessness. For still others, it may be an addiction. We can hide behind an awful lot of things to keep from having to face our fears and act on our own.

In any case, as with addiction, recognition is the first step to overcoming it.

Who (or what) is your “guardian”? Are you happy with this guardianship arrangement? Or is it time to grow up?

Your call.

You Get One Shot

Bo Bolster
Photo Credit: Don Shuler

Isaiah 40:6-8

People are like grass,
They’re as flimsy as wildflowers.
The stalks dry up and the flowers wilt
When the wind of God blows on them.
Surely, people are grass.
The stalks dry up and the flowers wilt,
But what God says is permanent.

We got news yesterday afternoon of the sudden (unexpected) death of an old friend. Aneurism. Fine one day, gone the next.

He was living proof that you don’t have to be rich or famous to make a difference. You just have to show up. Every day. And make coffee.

You get one shot at showing up, standing up, speaking up. You get one chance to be encouraging, inspiring, loving, and gracious.

Take it.