Thoughts, plots and other dan­ger­ous ac­tiv­i­ties

Record Observer - - Religion -

One day this past week, I got up a lit­tle ear­lier than usual and to keep from wak­ing up the Gra­cious Mistress of the Par­son­age I got my cof­fee and went to the back porch to en­joy a quiet early morn­ing.

As I sat on the back porch drink­ing my cof­fee and tak­ing in the early morn­ing at­mos­phere, I no­ticed a bunch of birds sit­ting on the fence in the back­yard. They were squawk­ing at me as though I was the worst per­son in their world. I be­lieve what they were scream­ing about was that I had not filled the bird feeder yet.

I screeched back at them and they only looked at me quizzi­cally and kept on squawk­ing. Ob­vi­ously, they could not un­der­stand my ac­cent.

Watch­ing them for a few mo­ments, I be­gan to think. That is a very dan­ger­ous thing to do, es­pe­cially so early in the morn­ing and es­pe­cially with a hot cup of cof­fee in your hand.

I be­gan think­ing about the fact that when­ever I put the feed in the bird feeder none of the birds ever come and thank me for it. How­ever, when I do not put feed in the bird­feeder they squawk and yell at me as though I had com­mit­ted the un­par­don­able sin. That’s grat­i­tude for you. I tried ex­plain­ing that I would put feed in the bird feeder when I got around to it. But right now, I ex­plained, I’m just en­joy­ing a quiet mo­ment with my cup of cof­fee. Now, could you just leave me alone for a mo­ment? And, quit all this fowl lan­guage.

I took an­other long sip of cof­fee and be­gan re­flect­ing more about this and how this was very typ­i­cal of peo­ple. They com­plain when they don’t get what they want, but when they get what they want to get rarely do they thank any­body. Their as­sump­tion is that they de­serve what they want.

It re­minded me of an in­ci­dent in the life of Je­sus when he healed 10 lep­ers. Only one of those lep­ers ever came back to thank Je­sus for what he did. That seems to be very typ­i­cal.

How much of what I ex­pect do I re­ally de­serve?

Think­ing about this brought me to the place of try­ing to fig­ure out some lit­tle plot against th­ese birds in my back­yard. If they are not thank­ful for what I give them and if they are screech­ing at me when they do not get what they want, what could I do to get even with th­ese lit­tle feathered ras­cals?

As I con­tin­ued sip­ping my cof­fee, my brain was run­ning at high speed try­ing to fig­ure out how I could trick th­ese birds into be­ing a lit­tle more ap­pre­cia­tive of what I do for them. Af­ter all, if I did not feed them they would not get fed.

One thought I had was I could put feed in the bird feeder and then tape shut all of the open­ings so that they could see the feed but they couldn’t get to it. I liked that idea. Oh, how it would make them so ag­gra­vated to see all that food there and not able to get to it.

The more I thought about this idea the more de­vi­ous my think­ing be­came.

What if I would build some­thing, like a trap, and put feed in the in­side so that when they tried to get to it they would be trapped and could not get out. I could watch them and laugh and laugh and laugh.

They could not get to the feed and they could not get out of the feeder. Oh, how I like that idea.

Soon my mind was putting out plot af­ter plot get­ting even with th­ese ras­cally, feathered min­ions teach­ing them a les­son or two. I was so im­pressed with all of th­ese plots that I had to get a pa­per and pen­cil and start jot­ting them down. This was se­ri­ous with me.

Sud­denly, I heard a quiet voice from in­side the door say­ing, “What are you do­ing so early?”

Look­ing around, there my wife stood at the door look­ing at me with the strangest of looks. I have seen strange looks from her, but this was the strangest.

It shocked me back into re­al­ity and for a brief mo­ment, I al­most told her what I was do­ing. I knew if I did that, I would be in deep trou­ble.

Com­ing up with a fresh plot I sim­ply said, “I’m just en­joy­ing the quiet­ness of the morn­ing.”

“I think,” she said, “I’ll come out and join you and to­gether we can en­joy the quiet­ness of the morn­ing.”

All my thoughts and plots came to an abrupt end.

Then she said, “I won­der why those birds over there on that fence are look­ing this way and squawk­ing?”

For a mo­ment I thought I would ex­plain it to her, but then I fig­ured out she prob­a­bly would not get the whole story. Or at least, she would won­der why in the world I was talk­ing to birds. Then she would sug­gest that it was be­cause I had a “bird­brain.” That sug­ges­tion has come up quite a few times.

The apos­tle Paul stated it this way, “Cast­ing down imag­i­na­tions, and ev­ery high thing that ex­al­teth it­self against the knowl­edge of God, and bring­ing into cap­tiv­ity ev­ery thought to the obe­di­ence of Christ” (2 Corinthi­ans 10:5).

When my thoughts fo­cus on Christ, it lifts me above my cir­cum­stances.

Dr. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he lives with his wife. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail jamess­ny­der2@ His web­site is www. jamess­ny­der­min­

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