As an adult, lessons still come every day. They’re not quite like those ‘back to school’ days where we’re forced to sit and learn and focus on what’s right in front of us. No. They come much differently now. The stakes oftentimes higher, the consequences to our choices dire and very real.
No one makes sure we’re soaking it in anymore, leaning over our shoulders, passing out papers with questions, quizzes with multiple choices. It’s silly, but I wish it were that simple now. Maybe I wouldn’t mess up so much.
My lessons seem to come from unlikely sources as of late; unlikely characters placed just right who continue to teach, mold and shape me into something different. Something better. Just like my teachers did in that traditional school setting all those years ago.
I had one such lesson the other day and it still stings my heart to think how I could’ve, should’ve ‘answered’ it differently.
I readied to gather our eggs from chickens who have started to give their ‘gift’ to us as humans. We enjoy the freshness, the tasty treat they supply. Basket in hand I wandered out, pushing Fallon in a stroller, the boys playing somewhere around the property.
I almost stepped on it, the barely clothed baby robin must have fallen out of its nest right in front of our tractor and barn. Its sides heaved quickly from new birth, or the fall, or stress of it all. It was just starting to grow feathers, maybe 5, 6 days old. So young. So helpless, its eyes still closed.
Growing in the woods as I have, this wasn’t my first encounter with the species. I knew I had to get the baby back to the nest.
But where was that nest?
As I searched, Fallon growing impatient with me, I began to believe the avian had been tossed to the wind, magically landing in the middle of this area. My hope was dwindling.
And where were the parents? They’re usually so protective, swooping and diving at your head in an effort to save their young. Nothing. No sounds or frantic calls.
I brought the baby inside, made a nest of sorts and glowed a heat lamp on its cool body. It was going to be fine.
I clicked around on the internet finding I HAD to return this baby. Its chances of surviving under my care, slim, almost impossible. I’d had to feed it every 15min, crushing worms and berries and all sorts of things to keep it alive. I didn’t want the work.
I ventured out again. Fallon asleep, the boys quiet.
And there, up on the edge of our hay loft movement caught my eye. More babies frantically moved and jostled for the perfect position to receive a meal. I carefully climbed our ladder, always a small feat when I reach the top.
The nest was crowded, but they were together and mom and dad would return. Robin parents aren’t affected by human scent. They go mostly by sight and sound.
Still, something seemed off. There were no parents anywhere. Maybe they were just waiting for me to go away.
So away I went and told myself I’d keep an eye on them.
The next day I climbed to the top once again, expecting to spook the mother off the nest. There was nothing but REALLY hungry birds. Their calls seemed desperate, like they had been abandoned, left on their own.
I couldn’t accept what had happened. Everything I read said to leave them, that the parents would return. Maybe they were out searching for food now.
But something pricked my heart and told me this wasn’t right. Them here alone, no parents in sight, the way they were arching their necks, it wasn’t right and I needed to do something.
I chose to ignore that prick, the one I have gotten many times throughout my life, sometimes many times throughout the day. I didn’t want the work. I convinced myself they’d be okay and climbed the ladder yet again. I went home to my babies and warm house, not really thinking twice about it. I had lied well to myself.
They wouldn’t make it another night. It was too cold and without their mother keeping them warm, they’d freeze.
I am well aware they’re just robins.
Still, I can’t ignore the lesson easily applied to so many other things in my life.
We read things, are told things from other people and we choose to believe them over that ‘prick’ from within our own hearts. A heart owned by Jesus.
That ‘prick’ from within, for me, is the Lord’s way of communicating personally to me. And in this story, I chose to ignore Him. I blocked Him out. I chose human information and intelligence over His. I deliberately disobeyed what He was telling me.
It’s these ‘little’ things in life that really DO matter. That prick to call someone, to go visit, or say yes to serving a bit more at church, in the home.
It may not mean you have to feed someone every 15 minutes. But, once in a while it might and in the end we’ll be the ones blessed by obeying. Even if it doesn’t turn out how you imagine it to be.
I learned a great lesson from those baby robins. One I’ll never forget. One I’m choosing to put into practice.
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