One day this past week, I got up a little earlier than usual and to keep from waking up the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage I got my coffee and went to the back porch to enjoy a quiet early morning.
I noticed a bunch of birds sitting on the fence in the backyard squawking at me as though I was the worst person in their world. I believe what they were screaming about was that I had not filled the bird feeder yet.
I began thinking about the fact that whenever I put the feed in the bird feeder none of the birds ever come and thank me for it. However, when I do not put feed in the bird feeder they squawk and yell at me as though I had committed the unpardonable sin.
That’s gratitude for you.
I tried explaining that I would put feed in the bird feeder when I got around to it. But right now, I explained, I’m just enjoying a quiet moment with my cup of coffee. Now, could you just leave me alone for a moment? And, quit all this fowl language.
I took another long sip of coffee and began reflecting more about this and how this was very typical of people. They complain when they don’t get what they want, but when they get what they want to get rarely do they thank anybody. Their assumption is that they deserve what they want.
Thinking about this brought me to the place of trying to figure out some little plot against these birds in my backyard. As I continued sipping my coffee, my brain was running at high speed trying to figure out how I could trick these birds into being a little more appreciative of what I do for them.
I could put feed in the bird feeder and then tape shut all of the openings so that they could see the feed but they could not get to it. Oh, how it would make them so aggravated to see all that food there and not able to get to it.
What if I would build something, like a trap, and put feed in the inside so that when they tried to get to it they would be trapped and could not get out. I could watch them and laugh and laugh and laugh.
They could not get to the feed and they could not get out of the feeder. Oh, how I like that idea.
Suddenly, I heard a quiet voice from inside the door saying, “What are you doing up so early?”
Looking around, there my wife stood at the door looking at me with the strangest of looks.
It shocked me back into reality and for a brief moment, I almost told her what I was doing. I knew if I did that, I would be in deep trouble.
Coming up with a fresh plot I simply said, “I’m just enjoying the quietness of the morning.”
“I think,” she said, “I’ll come out and join you and together we can enjoy the quietness of the morning.”
All my thoughts and plots came to an abrupt end.
Then she said, “I wonder why those birds over there on that fence are looking this way and squawking?”
For a moment I thought I would explain it to her, but then I figured out she probably would not get the whole story. Or at least, she would wonder why in the world I was talking to birds. Then she would suggest that it was because I had a “birdbrain.” That suggestion has come up quite a few times.
The apostle Paul stated it this way, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
When my thoughts focus on Christ, it lifts me above my circumstances.
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail email@example.com. His website is www.jamessnyderministries.com. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.