I sat in a parking lot this morning with about 10 minutes to spare before an appointment. I witnessed a real survivor show live, with a front row seat. A day in the life of a blackbird who was working hard for his breakfast and a grasshopper was working hard to not be it.
It almost looked like they had rules of engagement. After the blackbird would hop close and then swoop down for his prey and miss, he would wait and take a shot at another potential meal before re-engaging the first.
There was the display of life’s daily struggles set before me. I immediately thought about how similar that bird and grasshopper and they’re struggles are to ours as humans. Sometimes we’re the bird, but more often it feels like we’re the grasshopper.
We chase after not only simple food but many other delicacies that tend to elude us. We aren’t satisfied with just a seed laying on the ground, we want the caviar or another tasty non-essential.
I’m certain that come dusk this average looking blackbird will too be jostling for a choice branch in one of the biggest trees in the best bird neighborhoods in town. This is another trait we have in common, this bird and me.
How much time is spent trying to get the good spot in that tree of our life we call our home? It’s pretty obvious that many of us struggle through grief and strife in order to achieve that place in the tree with the best branch.
It’s becoming apparent that there is really only one big difference in the instinctual action of my fine feathered friend and me. In all of his failings he never loses his perspective, he stays focused and really looks like he’s enjoying life. One failure after another and he still loses no enthusiasm for his task.
Tonight when he’s fighting for position to claim his home for the night, I’m sure he’ll use that same can-do attitude in his endeavor. This little guy should be a good example of what is expected of all of life’s participants. My little buddy isn’t waiting for someone to deliver his seed or grasshoppers, he’s working for his meal and doing it with pride.
I compare this little guy’s life that is subject to the elements and is a struggle every day just for survival. In contrast, I see our society and the attitudes that are prevalent among many of us.
We want more, when we achieve a pretty good spot on the branch, we want to go higher in the tree. It’s a good thing we weren’t born with wings, how could they ever keep us satisfied? If someone else had more or bigger feathers, how long before we would set our hearts on wing extensions?
It seems this little flying creature may have a bit more wisdom grounding his instinct than a lot of us. He seems to know that the Creator knows when one of his fellow feathered friends fall to the ground.
He doesn’t seem to be at all stressed about feeding himself or his family. He acts as if he knows that the God of heaven will provide him with food, shelter, and clothing. Many of us “know” that same thing, we just don’t live it with the confidence of this blackbird.
Often we live in fear and dread of a world that is ultimately controlled by God. He either causes or allows everything that happens in our lives. There are great blessings and there are also consequences. In the end, we should know that like this blackbird, we have the promise from God of provision.
My little fine feathered friend must have had enough provision today.
I can almost hear the grasshoppers laughing at him.
He’s in for a long day…