I finally was able to work on the gardens this weekend. Boy, did it need tending. It is amazing how quickly things grow and become out of control when we are busy with other endeavors.
I was surprised to notice a robin's nest in our small cherry tree. I had seen some unusual rustling of its leaves but from the house side of the tree you cannot notice anything. It was only when I was in the yard working, did I hear and then see some small little ones reaching their necks up with mouths open. Momma (or dad- hard to tell with robins) bird kept coming with worms and other delectables for their offspring.
In the late afternoon I was planning on watering the garden. It was only after the sprinkler was on for a bit that I remembered the birds. I worried about getting them wet. Of course I know that they are in the rain as a normal part of their existence, but I was worried that the angle at which the sprinkler sent the sprays might overwhelm them.
It was an unnecessary worry. Chalk it up to being too much of an urbanite. But it did get me thinking....
I wondered what the robin thought. Did she have any of the following mental dialogue: "Rain? I didn't sense any coming. Better batten down the hatches.", "I can't believe that Mr. Robin didn't build us a nest with a covering. What was he thinking?", "Why us? No other nests seem to have a water problem".
In my anthropomorphic musings I thought, "Do robins complain about their circumstances?" If only I spoke "robinese" I would tell them to hold on. After the trials of the rain, the ground will be conducive for collecting worms. In enduring a short time of discomfort, they will be able to reap a sustaining benefit.
Maybe they know that? Maybe animals are better in tune to the trials and tribulations of life and its consequences. Maybe they know that life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes things that seem like a problem are just the means and method to deliver something good.
Unfortunately I think as humans we need to be reminded of that. I need to be reminded of that. When I am in the middle of a difficult situation I forget that there will be an end to it. I forget that sometimes the end produces a benefit. It may be something tangible, like my robin friend and her worms or it may be intangible like a character trait of patience, self-control or empathy. I need to hear from someone who speaks "robinese" to tell me that there is something on the other side of difficulty. I need to be told- hang on.
I find that when I read the Bible I hear God telling me exactly that- hold on and hold on to me. I may have trials and tribulations in this world, but I need not fear because He has overcome the world. He has my back and my best interest at heart. He has been teaching me to look at the world with His eyes: there is purpose to what is happening, there is a bigger plan than what I see and that I don't need to know everything because He has it covered.
This last year with the care of my father has been difficult on so many levels: physically- I have lost almost ten pounds, financially- I have had to turn down job offers because of his care, emotionally- I am so drained that I do not have much to offer to my immediate family and friends and wonder how long they will put up with my "absence", spiritually- I keep wondering what God is trying to teach me through my trying to be obedient in the midst of another's demands and needs. Yet, I have been witness to so many blessings- through my writing about my struggles I have met some wonderful people. I have found myself having greater empathy of those who have struggles. I am learning to be present, not relieving the past or anticipating the future. I am learning to appreciate each day and to look for things for which to be grateful even if that is a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep. I am trying to learn (very slowly) to replace complaint with contentment.
What about you? Do you have showers coming down upon your head? Can you see the softening of the ground and the potential of worms? Can you only see the problems and the complaints? Can your current struggles produce a future benefit?
My little robin friend reminds me to see life with a bird's-eye view.