Baby Steps

I have completed the first draft of my book. Hurrah! Now maybe I can keep up with the blogopshere a little better. Still, some time needs to go to my teens – one of whom may very well leave the nest next year.

And speaking of nests…

I love watching birds at the feeders. I’ve seen quite a few species visit over the years and caught some of the “regulars” with my camera. Often, I’ve seen  a pair of birds flying to and fro from feeder to bush or tree as they work tirelessly to keep up with the demands of their now-hatched young.

I am always entertained when the fledglings begin to visit the feeders themselves, mainly because it actually takes some time for the parents to convince the young that they can get food on their own.

I’ve watched both a male house finch and a male cardinal go through this with their fledgling. The young bird, usually drab, will stand on the rail of my porch and flutter his wings while Dad hops back and forth between railing and feeder. Occasionally, Dad will succumb to the youngster’s begging and feed him a morsel before beginning the whole routine again.

When I read Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church a few days ago, one of the grey cardinal juveniles was eating – all by himself – from the feeder just as I happened upon 1 Corinthians 3.

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 

1 Corinthians 3:1-3

I have to wonder if Paul was as exasperated and worn out with his spiritual children as these birds surely are with their needy, adult-sized young. And if the apostle was weary of the Corinthians’ worldliness, how much more so must our longsuffering Father be? It’s a good thing He is longsuffering!

Take my country. We live in an age where we who call ourselves Christians still have freedom to worship without fear of arrest, beatings, or death. We have a plethora of Bible translations available to us in print or digitally. We even have the resources available to learn the original languages the texts were written in, and yet so much more of our time is squandered on things which will not last.

In many ways, we are like those birds. We are sized like an adult, we can fly like an adult, but we are still dressed in the drab plumage of our flesh instead of the vibrant white of our Lord’s righteousness. We still want to be spoon-fed a nutritionally weak, fast-food devotional snipped rather than feasting on the rich and lasting fare provided by the Bread of Life.

Let’s take to our wings, brothers and sisters, and see how much stronger our spiritual  stamina will be when we make use of the solid food our Provider has given us! Many of us have a long race yet to run, and endurance is required if we are to finish the race.

Especially if we are to finish well.

Oh Lord forgive us. Let us grow up into Christ and move forward without fear in obedience to what You call us to do. Teach us to learn from You and to let our knowledge be reflected in all our actions and choices, amen. 

 

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