Wednesday, May 19, 2010

But this is my garden

Okay, one more lesson today from the birds. I was outside the other day doing some weeding and dead heading. The bird scolded me continuously and occasionally flew low over my head. It would not let up. I kept telling it that I wasn't going to hurt it or the babies (yeah, I talk to animals) but it wouldn't stop freaking out. Finally I said "look, this is my garden, don't tell me what I can do in my garden."

And that's when it hit me. I'm like that bird. Things happen in my life that I don't have any control over and I yell at God and freak out and try to change things that I don't have the power to change. And God tries to calm me, he tries to assure me that what I'm seeing as a huge threat is really not a big deal. But his final response to me has to be what my final response to the bird was "don't tell me what I can do in my garden." God knows things I have no way of knowing. He's in control of everything and yet I try to tell him what will be best, I try to tell him what his will should be. That's my new goal; remembering that I am privileged to live in God's "garden" (not Eden, just this beautiful world he created) and enjoying all the blessings that come with that.

So if you see me freaking out and buzzing God's head as I try to keep things safe, just remind me that I don't own this garden. God will thank you.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Is the threat real?

I'm sitting on my patio watching a small bird freak out. We have birdhouses that my Dad and the kids built several years ago. In one of them we have a nest, which I love because everytime my patio door is open I get to hear the baby birds crying to be fed. I love the sound of the birds. But today my dog is outside with me. Chi chi is 7 1/2 pounds of obliviousness. She's out there to lay in the sun, and occasionally puke because she ate some grass. She is the farthest thing from a threat to the baby birds. They're up 5 feet off the ground and she stands no where near that height. But as she explored the garden today the mother or father bird was absolutely freaking out! Here's this little bird, probably 1/20th the size of my small dog chasing the dog around, scolding and dive bombing and my dog remained oblivious. So 3 lessons for my own life jumped out at me from watching the two animals.

1. Sometimes I freak out over something that is truly not a threat. Do dogs have the capacity to be a threat to birds? Yes. But in this case, this dog isn't a threat. However the bird parent isn't aware of that and so is responding at full alert. Tons of wasted effort.

2. On the flip side, that bird is awesome. Here is another animal that is 20 times its size and that bird isn't backing down. No matter how big the threat, the little bird will fight to defend its own. That bird could look at the size of the dog (as small as she may be) and think, "no way, I can't do it, that dog could kill me in one bite, it's hopeless, all is lost, I may as well give up." But it doesn't. It does everything in its power to scare off the dog and fight against it. I need to be like that bird and not decide that a situation is hopeless just based on how the circumstances appear to me.

3. I also see a lesson in the dog's response. She's just going about her business, roaming the garden. She knows she's entitled to be there and so as this little bird harasses her and dives at her she completely ignores it. She doesn't pay any attention. She doesn't think, "oh I better go inside since this bird doesn't want me around." No, she flops down in the sun. I need to ignore those little things and just go about my day too, doing what I know I'm supposed to do--no matter how much someone else tells me I'm wrong.

Isn't it amazing how much God can teach us even when we're not looking for it?