Friday, October 31, 2014

Noisy Bird

"How rude. I mean, doesn’t this bird know I am trying to spend some QUIET time with the Lord on this beautiful gulf coast beach morning?” 
That’s what I was thinking at first. 
I really did try to let it go and concentrate, but my ADD tendencies got the better of me and I full on immersed myself in the unfolding bird drama.      
This solitary bird standing on the shore in the dry sand was wailing…incessantly. 
As in shrill, ear piercing shrieks. 

Once I realized it wasn’t just chirping or doing its regular thing, I got a little concerned:
Maybe this bird is hurt? 
Can it even fly? 
Maybe she is a mama bird attracting away predators in ultimate sacrifice. 
Maybe she is warning her bird friends of impending danger. 
Maybe I should help this wittle birdie!

My curiosity was peaked…so I watched.

All week, I had been fascinated with birds that would fly over the shallow coastline and dive bomb the water to catch a fish. The precision and commitment was intense.
So I noticed that this noisy bird, still standing on and never moving from the shore, continually screeched at another bird flying nearby over the water as it fished. 
The fisher bird would come to the noisy bird and go back to the water again and again.
Noisy bird never missed a beat. Ever. 
It constantly cried out to the bird fishing.

And then, it happened.
The other bird caught a fish and took it to Noisy bird and fed it.
Then it happened again. And again and again.
The only time Noisy bird was silent, was in the 3 seconds it took it to swallow that fish, then it went right back to the wailing.

The fisher bird went out and back, out and back, over and over.
I was beginning to be inspired! 
Here is this bird willing to feed a fellow bird-injured and impaired-who is unable to fish on its own! 

But then, to my surprise, Noisy bird, who had seemed so bound to the shore-seemingly physically unable to do what would sustain its life- just took off in flight! <insert audible gasp on my part>

Now, this was no baby bird. 
It was full grown, just like the one feeding it. 
It had no impairments.
Yet, it pierced the atmosphere, demanding to be fed. 
And this fisher bird complied.
Then, Noisy bird got its fill of the whole ordeal and took off. 

But I kept thinking: what will happen when this bird gets hungry next time? 
Because, the funny thing about hunger is that it will always come again.
So what then? 
Will it make another scene, shrieking demands to be fed? 
Will some other bird be its fisher? 

The very hunger that gave rise to Noisy bird’s shriek could have been satisfied in beautiful stillness if the bird itself would have pursued its source of nourishment.
There would have been no need for the drama.
No need for the squawking.
Just focus. Then food. Then nourishment….and repeat.

This very bird who stayed noisy on the shore was created with vision to see into the ocean depths, to find its sustenance and strength in the vast ocean, and wings to rise above waves and dangers that could drag it down.

And so are we.

We were knit together to pursue our Source of sustenance and strength, to rise above.

But it’s so much easier some days to stand on the shore where we feel safe and pitch a fit and make noise.

The reality is, the most distracting and paralyzing noise in my life comes from my own mouth.

Instead of letting my soul hunger drive me toward the use of my uniquely given gifts, talents, and personality in the relentless pursuit of the Person of Jesus, I plant my feet and wail about my self-imposed emptiness.

Following Christ isn’t just about holding eternal death at bay.
It is about embracing the abundant life Jesus died for us to have.
It is about the soaring, the diving, the hunger…understanding that the more I seek Him, the more I find Him.
And there is growth in the pursuit.

Pursuit begins with choosing to move.
Choose to embrace all He created you to be and died for you to receive.

If you stay noisy on the shore, the joy of pursuit will never be revealed, the reward of encounter and fulfillment never truly experienced.

Staying hungry is a good thing. 
Waiting for somebody to bring you a meal on the shore? Not so much.
Yes, life is noisy. 
But let’s resolve that the noise that distracts ourselves and others from their pursuit of Jesus won’t be coming from us.

Take flight, friends.
No more noisy bird. 


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