Lessons From A Backyard Feeder: A Good Example

September 10, 1997
by Laurie Wright

For over twenty years, birds and other creatures have been coming to the feeders in our back yard. Most of the time, we simply enjoy their amusing antics, but every so often, they have a lesson to teach to us.

Romans 12:11-13 – Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Of all the birds that visit our feeders, black-capped chickadees are the most entertaining and the most endearing.

Chickadees are always cheerful. They sing first thing in the morning, and last thing at night. Some even sing every time they take a seed! (A bird's version of grace?) If we've been away, chickadee songs greet us upon our return. (Extra effort is put into the songs if the feeders happen to be empty.)

They are polite little birds who wait patiently for their turn to get a sunflower seed. At prime feeding times (early morning and just before dark), it is common to see six or eight of them lined up, ready to take their seeds. Unlike some of the visitors to our feeders, chickadees will share the bounty with other types of birds and the red squirrels.

After years of observing these delightful birds, we have come to realize that humans would do well to imitate many aspects of their behaviour!

Prayer: Lord, there seems to be a trend in our society for people to be self-centred, materialistic, and generally unhappy. We pray that the example of the chickadees will encourage us to approach life with joy, to treat others with respect, and to share what we have. Amen.

About the author:

Laurie Wright

Red Rock, Ontario, Canada

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