Jesus begins Matthew 6:26 by saying, “Look at the birds of the air.” He goes on to say, “they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” Well, I want you to consider them today for another reason entirely. I want to take a few minutes to ponder the perseverance and hard work of birds. I want to focus on a couple of birds in particular.
On the front of our Church building, three wreaths hang with plastic flowers. They are bright and beautiful and give a nice appearance to our entryway. Unfortunately, they also attract nesting birds. Three years ago, some sparrows built their nests on two of the wreaths. It was cute for a time. Then the babies were hatched in one of the nests, and they began producing waste. It quickly covered the front of the building. The other one was a more tragic tale where the mother disappeared, and the babies jumped to their death. Both scenes were ugly and required me to clean up a mess that I was not expecting.
Last year the birds returned. They began building their home, and when I noticed it, I removed the sticks and brush from inside the wreath. The birds left, and the story was over.
This year has been a different story. As of today, I have removed eight different nests from the front of our building. I take it down in the morning, and by afternoon they have built another one. This process has repeated itself over and over. Now we have had quite a bit of rain, and the birds have gone from using sticks to grass and mud. Today I scrubbed down the front of the building and took the decorations down. Now I have taken them down before, but well-intention Church people have discovered them and put them back up.
All total, for three weeks I have been in an ongoing fight with some sparrows and robins. While I am going to win this fight, I do admire these bird’s perseverance. They keep working. Even when I inflict what I think is a significant setback, they go right back at it. Nothing seems to deter them from their task. Even with their desired location gone, they will find another place and tomorrow they will have a complete nest nearby in which they will lay their eggs.
Eugene Peterson tells about watching a kingfisher one day from the deck of his house. It dove 37 times in the lake before it finally caught a fish. He was amazed at the resilience of this one creature. They can do the same thing over and over until they get the desired result.
I too stand amazed. Today I consider the birds of the air or in this case, the birds of the Church. They labor and work until their work is done, no matter how much I stand against them. May God give us all a measure of bird-like perseverance in life.