Birders in my state find excitement in the next viewed warbler, the first sighting of a raptor.
The birds of Central Florida are many and varied and a delight to those who enjoy watching them.
Several of my grands have become fascinated with our many feathered friends. So we did what every doting grandparent does.
We got a bird feeder.
I’ve seen so many beautiful birds in our backyard. Their songs are melodious, their coloring is spectacular. They play in the branches of our big tree, darting around the leaves and twigs as if in a game of winged tag.
We have yet to see one of these lovelies at our bird feeder.
We have, however, seen a plethora of squirrels.
When we bought this item it was termed “squirrel-proof”. Not that I totally believed the advertised hype. But I’d hoped it was somewhat true.
I don’t know that there’s a bird feeder out there that is totally squirrel-proof.
The squirrels figured out how to hang from the mesh and pull out birdseed. They take turns. One waits on the ground, eating as much as he can as it’s dumped near him. Then they change places, and the other becomes the eater.
The sandhill cranes have figured out that squirrels are now their best buddies. They can’t reach the bird feeder, but they benefit from the bounty of seeds dislodged by their furry friends. They lift their heads as the seeds come cascading down, benefitting from the squirrels’ cleverness.
None was what I’d planned on.
The plan? To sit on our porch and watch the birds feed, sing, and play around the tree.
This is not our reality.
It’s easy to think that, given a good plan with satisfactory implementation, the results would be what I anticipate.
The challenge comes in taking into consideration the ambiguity of life. We really don’t have control over much of anything. We can plan and do our best, but life happens.
Our best intentions often get hijacked by the uncertainty of this world, by the reality that we are restricted by our own limitations. We can’t do all, be all, understand all. As difficult as it is to live with, we have serious restraints on what we are able to accomplish.
God, however, is unlimited in His power, understanding, and the mercy of His presence.
When plans are derailed, it’s easy to become frustrated and disappointed.
You should hear me talk to those squirrels.
We all have a need to accomplish our goals. Some are more driven than others in their pursuit of achievement. We all will fail at something sometimes. None of us is perfect.
What we can do is trust God with our limitations. He’s aware of what we can and can’t do; He wants to see our character develop and mature, not our competence. Failures and disappointments are avenues of growth that won’t happen when everything works out the way we want it.
God doesn’t see us as failures; He sees us as His beloved creations on a journey to become what He has made us be.
Something will always undermine our efforts.
Even if it’s a squirrel.
How will you choose to respond?