Instantly I knew what happened. Unfortunately it is not the first time I have heard those sounds. I walked to my dining room window, looked down and saw the latest victim of a careless flight pattern sprawled out on my deck. A white-breasted nuthatch laying face down, wings outspread, breathing hard, and clearly discombobulated. Of course it was! It had just flown into my dining room window at speeds great enough to break its neck. Yet, it seemed to still be alive. I shook my head and walked away, knowing it would take as much as an hour for it to recover its senses and fly again….if it could fly at all.
Thirty minutes later, I came back to the window and found it sitting upright. A good sign, however, it still was breathing heavily and had not made an attempt to fly. At this moment, it was frighteningly vulnerable. Should a neighborhood kitty happen by, the nuthatch would not have enough sense to flee. It would not be a bad day for the nuthatch. So, I keep watch and make sure no further trauma occurs to the little one. After an hour, the nuthatch is able to fly and off it goes, hopefully having learned a lesson about flight patterns and windows.
The similarities between this addled nuthatch and me are glaringly obvious. In truth, it is amazing that either of us is still living and breathing. All too often, in my twenties I flew in careless flight patterns, choosing to follow a course centered on my own pleasure and desire. I knew better, had been taught better by godly parents, but the world beckoned, promising glamour, fun, and acceptance. Strangely, the evil one conveniently neglected to caution me about that big glass window. You know the one, it looks suspiciously like the consequences of my poor choices. A heart broken by those to whom I should never have given it…multiple times. Shame over sexual misconduct. Profanity-laced conversation that evidenced a heart hardened toward God. Ugh, it was ugly.
In those days I would find myself face to the ground, breathing hard at the ruthlessness of the enemy, totally unable to pick myself up and start flying again. I was frighteningly vulnerable. Satan waited, watched, and hoped I would fly carelessly again. What he didn’t count on was the One who stood inside the window and watched over me.
“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.” Psalm 3:3 (NKJV)
God knew His plan for me and knew it was good. He desired to be a shield for me but I had to come to the end of myself and ask Him. I had to come to the place where I desired to fly God’s pattern rather than my own. God did not force His way upon me, but rather allowed me to fly the way of the world until I slammed one final time into the consequences of my choices and decided there had to be a better way.
And indeed, there was a better way. Romans 12: 1-2(NLT) reveals it:
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
MEDITATION MOMENT: Is it time to change your flight pattern? Have the consequences of your poor choices finally caused you to decide to try God’s way? I promise you that God’s way is much better than anything you have tried. Experience the peace and security of flying in God’s flight pattern.