July 18, 2014
2 Corinthians 5:17
So, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
It was a wonderful summer evening. The temperature was pleasant, the mosquitos weren’t too pesky and the flower’s colors were brilliant. As Rick and I enjoyed pork ribs off the grill for dinner on our patio, we noticed a hesitant momma robin in the yard. We quickly figured out why.
The first big outdoor project we undertook after purchasing our home was putting in a patio. In the location of where we wanted to install the patio was a small crab apple tree. Neither of us wanted to remove the tree so we simply built the patio around the tree! Just outside of the tree’s reaches, we installed a gazebo, which allows us to enjoy the patio in the shade (a must, we discovered.)
The crab apple tree has been the tree of choice for many a Momma Robin over the years. Why, we don’t know. Maybe it is because it has sun and shade, it’s the right height, who knows. After noticing the persistent robin, I looked into the tree and discovered why. Her beak was full of items for the nest she was building.
When we first noticed Momma Robin, she landed a considerable distance from the patio. She took off several times, inching her way closer to the patio with each landing. She got within inches of the patio but would not quite land on the patio while we were under the gazebo. Sometimes, she flew quite close to the tree, but was never confident enough to land in the tree in our presence.
As the evening darkness crept around us, we left the patio. The next day, I noticed the nest had grown in size but remained empty.
This week, I peeked and discovered bright blue eggs in the nest. Momma Robin was nowhere in sight. Last night, when a couple friends and I enjoyed an evening on the patio, once again, Momma Robin would not get too close to the patio, the tree or the nest.
Sometimes, human beings are much like the hesitant Momma Robin. Often people call themselves spiritual and acknowledge a Greater Power or God. But sometimes people just aren’t very comfortable getting too close to the nest, i.e. a church, when others are around. Maybe small calculated inchings are made. Until no one is there to observe, it’s uncomfortable to truly acknowledge or recognize God’s presence in daily life. It’s much easier to do it in the darkness.
Does this hesitation make you a bad person? Absolutely not. Does it mean you don’t believe in God? No. Sometimes, it speaks more so to perceptions of how the church can and has hurt people, focus on the wrong things, decides personal agendas are more important than God’s mission for us.
There’s also a lesson for those who are timid in their interactions with God. At some point, Momma Robin got into her nest and laid the eggs. No one else could lay the eggs but herself. For new life to happen, she had to put herself out there. For new life to happen within us, we have to put ourselves out there.
Lord God, I lift up those people who are so hesitant about You in their lives. Only You know what makes them hesitant. I pray that in time, a desire to experience new life within Your presence allows us all to fly into the nest of your loving and gracious arms. Amen.
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