Our Site has a translucent panel in the roof to let in light. On more than one occasion, we’ve had birds fly in through our open doors or windows. Once they are in, it’s hard to get them out. They tend to hang out up in the rafters, making futile attempts to exit through the light-filled panel above.
It’s heart-breaking and frustrating to watch. A bird will fly in big circles for a couple minutes, then perch on one of the wooden rafters for a while to rest. Then, it starts again. Every so often it’ll get a little lower, and we get excited, thinking maybe it will discover the wide open door below. But, up it goes again, missing the opportunity to be free.
Some of them eventually find their way out by accident. Others have to be chased out, which is stressful for them, and for us, too.
Yesterday Daisy and I were talking with our Young Women’s group about the Resurrection of Jesus. We do not serve a dead god, but a living, eternal Savior. Because He lives, we, too, live. We read Matthew 28, when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary go early in the morning to the tomb seeking Jesus’ body. But, as the angel told them, He was not there, because He was alive!
As we were talking, another bird flew in. I watched it swooping around, tiring itself out pursuing an exit that was never going to open. The bird wanted to get out, so he kept aiming for the sky through that translucent part of our roof.
In that little bird’s brain, it made perfect sense. The sad fact was, of course, it could spend its entire life flying around the rafters, even bumping up against the panel, but it was never going to get out that way.
The bird needed to do what was counter-intuitive. It needed to fly down in order to go up and out. I imagined it had little birdy friends outside who kept calling it to fly up. Come on, you can do it!
The truth is, sometimes – perhaps, many times! – God is leading us in a way that seems to make no sense. Logically, one direction is less risky, more comfortable and safe. Clearly, that’s the way He would want me to go. Of course, I need to remember that compared to God, my logic can be bird-brained!
Because of the cross and the empty tomb, we have freedom in Christ. We can live a life that is significant and abundant. But, like the cross itself, this signifies living in a way that is counter-intuitive to the world. After all, the way to this freedom, this life, cost Jesus exactly that – His own freedom and life.
As His followers, we are called to give up our freedom and life in order to gain them. We are called to a life that may defy logic. A life that makes no sense to our little bird brains. A life that may confuse or alienate those we love. It’s not always going to be easy! But, if I don’t follow His leading, I will spend all my life swooping around, tiring myself out, all for nothing.
When Jesus ascended, His Father sent a Helper, the Holy Spirit, to live in us. The Holy Spirit is often depicted as a dove. That is the kind of ‘bird brain’ I want to have! When the path seems obscure, when voices all around me are urging me to keep flying into the panel, it is only in His power that I can stop, focus on His call, and then fly down, not up.
I pray that I will have the courage to heed the voice of the Holy Spirit, leaving my bird brained ways behind so that I can share His Good News with a world that continues flying around without hope. Only in His power can we live in true freedom. All glory to Him!!