Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Lesson in the Nest

Several years ago, the kids received a DVD about hummingbirds as a gift from their Nana. It turned into a week-long theme study and a blog post. Yesterday, Mr. Magoo found a complete bird's nest on the ground, lying off to one side and it brought back memories of that week. 

Bruiser put it back in the tree
It also provided a lesson to me. I have been working through the ever-lasting decluttering process that so many of us go through (how many times have I blogged about decluttering, cleaning or moving things about? Whew!) and there is a Bible story - and the quote I've highlighted below in particular -  that comes back to me again and again: 

16 And behold, someone came to Him and said, Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?
17 And He said to him, Why do you ask Me concerning what is good? There is only One who is good. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He said to Him, Which ones? And Jesus said, "You shall not murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness;
19 Honor your father and mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.''
20 The young man said to Him, All these things I have kept. What do I still lack?
21 Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in the heavens; and come, follow Me.
22 But the young man, hearing this word, went away sorrowing, for he had many possessions.
23 And Jesus said to His disciples, Truly I say to you, Only with difficulty will a rich man enter into the kingdom of the heavens.
24 And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
25 And when the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, Who then can be saved?
26 And looking upon them, Jesus said to them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
Matthew 19:16-26


I have really mulled this over a lot lately. It is tempting to just up and give almost everything away, isn't it? And I've really considered this part in Luke:
26"If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? 27"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.28"But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? 
Luke 12:26-28 

A design Bruiser made in the sand at the beach last week
Which will ultimately be washed away...
I have been working towards some big goals in my life, family and business as we get ready for The White Knight to retire possibly in the next year. And so many of the quotes from the book of Proverbs have come back to haunt me as well. I have not been a good steward of what I've been given, and I have really begun to feel like I will have a much harder time achieving and pushing through these goals if I do not step up to the plate and live out the reality of being a good steward of my time, money, and talents. 

A bit of plastic used in the nest
And the bird's nest is connected to all of this, believe it or not. Every year, the birds spend how much time using their God-given talents to make a nest out of the scraps and discards of not only nature (grass, mud, tree leaves, etc.) but also man (plastic bag strips, hair, etc). The bird makes it's cozy little nest - a home, a place to rest and sleep, a place of warmth and comfort - lays its eggs there, raises its young... and at the end of all of that, the bird just... flies away. 


The bird leaves the precious jewel of its work from that portion of its life and walks away, not looking back at it as an accomplishment, nor as a possession, nor as something that s/he should hold onto, "worshipping" the specialness of the memories that come with it. The bird and its mate and chicks all leave it behind for the wind to blow, children to find, examine and dissect, and the next year the bird makes a new one, always knowing that the things it needs to make its home will be available when the time is right. 

Wow. 

My children are not grown yet. Clearly it takes more to make and maintain a human home than a bird's nest because of how much longer our children take to raise to maturity and self-sustainability. But any animal is this way, just about. And what a lesson for us! 

The "bird's nest" Bruiser made after we watched the video
I am working this week on wrapping up some big projects, beginning new ones, and preparing for the next phase of life. I want to keep the bird's nest as a reminder of all this... but instead, I'll leave the nest there for other children to find, and will keep it in pictures and memory - and try to remember the lesson in the nest instead.

A treasure worth holding on to.
Have you found a lesson in nature? Is there something that drives you to keep improving as you move along your path? Share your lessons with others so we may all be blessed!

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