Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion Sept 4, 2019

This is a nature story.  Nature isn’t always a pretty thing.  Most of nature is gorgeous, but there are parts of nature that are down right disturbing.  Considering animals that need to eat and their source of food is other animals - often cute ones and you cringe a little inside when you think about it but in your head you know that is how things have to be.  Reminds you of that song from the Lion King - The Circle of Life.
But just because we know that circle of life is the reality of the world doesn’t make it any easier when we think about the cute little animals and the need for animals to survive….
Well, that was a gloomy beginning but this story turns out much better.  Sometimes I wonder why I begin ruminating on something that is either totally unrelated to what I think I am going to write or sort of related but not really what I was going to say.  That Holy Spirit is a strange inspirer…..
Anyway the story I was going to tell had to do with a Robin.  Now I don’t know that Robins fall into the cute animal category.  They are rather interesting looking with their orange bellies and they are nifty to watch as they hop around on the ground grabbing up their worms to eat.  Just watching Robins, or other birds for that reason, makes you think about God and how well designed things are to do what they need to do.  Especially animals and birds and nature in general.  
Back from the ruminating and on with the story……. This Robin I was watching was in the throws of trying to build a nest.  Now here is another fascinating feat of nature.  How do these birds with only a beak and wings and hoppy little legs manage to build such a sturdy, functional nest with only pieces of twigs and such they find on the ground.  Sort of makes me feel ashamed when I can’t put something together with arms and legs and opposable thumbs and supposedly superior intelligence…..
While I sat and watched the Robin - you know of course I was supposed to be doing actual work that needed to be done but was instead sitting on the porch watching this Robin as it gathered nest building materials……
This industrious Robin would hop around on the ground, find something it liked, pick it up with its beak, fly away to wherever this nest was being built and in a very few minutes would be right back to find the next piece of its building component
Well, this Robin found what I guess it felt was the most perfect building block of his nest building and tried to pick it up, but the end was stuck under a rock.  Well, that Robin must have felt this was a most essential piece of his nest because he tugged and pulled, and pulled and tugged, and tugged and pulled…. flew away for a few minutes and came back and began the process once again - tugging for all it was worth to get this one twig I guess he felt was essential for his nest.
Here is where the circle of life ruminating comes in - While this Robin was so preoccupied with getting this one particular stick - of which in my human mind thought there were plenty more around -  our cat spied the industrious Robin insistent on this one particular element of nest construction.  So while the Robin is completely focused on releasing the twig, the cat begins that cat stealth walk when cats are sneaking up on something.  The Robin was oblivious to the impending danger…..
When I became the Robin saving super hero (wish I had had a mask and a cape but there wasn’t time) and ran down off the porch, shooed away the cat, the Robin realized its present danger and flew away.  Whew!  Superhero work is hard.  The Robin must have realized the futility of this stick because I didn’t see it return - but I released the twig from the rock anyway just in case Mr Robin felt the need to come back for this particular item. - more superhero work!
Sometimes we get ourselves so caught up in things that we begin to neglect what is good for us.  Life gets in the way and our focus shifts from the ways of God to whatever else that is out there that is captivating our attention.  But what we need to learn is that God will reach out and try to snatch us back to the life that is best for us and best for the work God has given us and it may be far removed from what we thought was important….
Setting  priorities can be difficult.  There are cats and twigs under rocks and activities and responsibilities and people and all manner of distractions that will always vie for our focus.  Sometimes we just need to step back and look at where we are and where we are going and what we are spending our time doing…. And then let God guide us to where we truly need to be.