Holier Than the Birds
Today I had one of those moments that happen from time to time—when the struggle and stress and monotony of everyday life is peeled away and God shows up in a way that refreshes the soul. Such moments are relatively rare for me, at least more rare than I would like to admit. But every now and then a little silence at the right moment is just what it takes for God’s still, small voice to speak new grace.
It’s Saturday morning, and I was at the park across the street with my son and daughter. We frequent this park regularly. When I say it is across the street from my home, I mean it literally. I know when people are at the park because the second swing on the set squeaks so loud when in use that I can hear it in my living room.
As I sat on the bench watching my kids play, I had a sudden realization of just how beautiful the world can be. Sure, it is easy to see the pain and hardship that exists, and we are bombarded with reminders on a daily basis. But this moment seemed utterly void of any of it. My kids ran happily, laughing and swinging and sliding. The air smelled of spring. Here the grass is turning green again and the trees are just barely starting to bud. The sky a perfect blue without a cloud in sight, and the warmth of the sun perfectly contrasted by a cool and refreshing morning breeze.
I began to appreciate the senses God has given us to enjoy his creation. We take this more for granted than we realize. How many wonderful sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and touches do we receive without ever giving it a second thought. As I began to think about this, I caught myself listening to the birds singing their good-morning songs. It seemed I could hear them coming from every direction, as if the whole neighbourhood had been invaded by these creatures, a sure sign that spring is finally here to stay.
I wondered to myself, What makes the birds sing in the morning? And what are they singing about? I am sure if I bothered I could google it and find some scientific answer that would be satisfying. It probably just means they are hungry for food. Yet instead of searching the internet I searched the Scriptures in my mind. God’s creation sings the praises of God.
All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name. (Psalm 66:4)
The birds rise every morning to praise their Creator. He delights each day in their song. What is remarkable to me is not that creation praises its Maker, but rather that it does so unfailingly. The birds take no days off. If the sun comes up again, they are there to greet it, voices raised. I imagine that it brings a smile to God’s face.
I said a prayer silently to myself. Lord, these birds of yours rise each day to praise you. How much joy that must bring to you. And yet here I am, a creature of higher reasoning, knowing the grace that you give, and yet far too often I neglect to begin my day in song. I get up and go about my business without stopping to worship you for another day. Your mercy is new each morning, and I take it for granted. Lord, help me to do better. Let me rise each day and begin it by delighting in you. Make me holier than the birds.
I began to join the birds in song, singing praises quietly to myself and to God. I scarcely made it to the end of one song when suddenly the moment was over, broken by the sound of the swing Bella had just flung cracking into the side James’ head. Tears erupted, and just like that I was thrust back into the regular flow of life. My peaceful moment of worship was gone, but for goodness sake, did I ever enjoy it!
I am guilty of not giving God my first and my best as regularly as I ought. I was reminded this morning that even the birds fulfill this task without fail. I would like to do better at this, and by God’s grace I can. I hope to try and begin each day more consistently with a song in my heart ready for the Saviour I love. I at least ought to be able to do that much, seeing as unreasoning animals can pull it off. Lord, make me holier than the birds.