by Pastor Tim Burt
We have a high deck off the back of our house. As you walk out on the deck, there is a double spotlight on the wall. Every year, robins decide to build a nest on it. It’s right outside our kitchen window so I’ve been able to watch the entire process each year—from the building of the nest, laying and hatching of the eggs, the mother nurturing her babies, and the fledgling (the babies growing their wings and learning to fly.) It’s always fun to watch and we presently have four in the nest right now.
In last year’s process, the parents had been feeding worms to the babies in the nest. They had hatched about two weeks prior and were at the stage where their little heads were just above the nest line with their beaks pointing straight up waiting for their meals to arrive. The time of fledgling and leaving the nest was near. I wanted to catch that moment on videotape if I could, but it happened while I was away from home. When I came home, I looked out the window and could see the nest was empty. As I looked around and did a little CSI investigation, I noticed the funniest thing. There was bird poop on the house siding just above the nest and all over the wall below the nest. There was bird poop in almost a straight line on the deck floor from the nest to the deck rail. And then on the deck railing, there were four piles of bird poop perfectly spaced in this linear row. I can only surmise that these babies were scared out of their gourds and having a fear-induced pooping party as they were being pushed out of the nest.
Our deck is high off the ground. So as the baby birds were lined up on this deck rail overlooking the height of their first flight, each of them crapped their pants (or no pants 😂) right where they sat on the rail. They were staring at their first 15-foot drop to the ground. I was sad that I didn’t get to witness it but the evidence left behind was apparent and hysterical. It made it easy for me to imagine.
Over the years of my Christian walk, I’ve changed more than you could ever believe. The Holy Spirit living in every believer is a transforming power. He helped me change from a young adult wandering aimlessly through the early years of adulthood, caught up in drugs and alcohol, to an utterly completely new person as promised in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV). “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Since that time 44 years ago, my life has been a complete makeover filled with purpose with Jesus at the center of all I do.
God’s word has taught me life-changing principles of love, mercy, forgiveness, grace, godly thinking, and so much more. It’s taught me the importance of words and speaking, of the critical importance of having hope, being encouraged, and giving encouragement. It’s helped me learn to walk in the fruit of the Spirit of God. His Word has also taught me the importance of being faithful, walking in servant leadership, and being selfless rather than selfish. It’s also helped me become a person that can take on responsibility, lead, and raise up leaders. And through all this, doors of opportunity have been repeatedly opened to me.
Opportunity is a funny thing. It most often represents new learning curves and challenges you’ve not walked in before. That has always meant leaving my comfort zone. The easiest decision to make when you’re in your comfort zone is the decision to stay where you are. Why? Because you already know what you’re doing!
I don’t take risks or make changes just for the sake of change. I make changes because God is dealing with me to make changes—sometimes internally, and sometimes in taking on more or new responsibilities to further what He has put in my heart to accomplish.
When I do make changes, they usually carry the risk to succeed or fail. I often feel like those little birds sitting up on the rail of my deck being coaxed to take their first flight. You hope things will result in a great life-change experience and blessing. But, like those little birds, I look out and see how far I can fall. I imagine every fear. And like those little birdies, I poop on the rail. I go through short bouts of anxiety thinking What am I doing? But then I hear His voice rise up within me and hear His encouragement reminding me, “For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NLT) I begin to receive the Lord’s strength and I hear more. I hear Psalm 118:8. “It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in people.” I am further encouraged and strengthened and hear more still. Psalm 118:7 NLT “Yes, the Lord is for me; He will help me.”
I was never one to change much or take risks until I gave my life to the Lord. I learned that He guides me down the path of my destiny, one step at a time. Because of His love for me, I know it’s planned with good things that will transform and enrich my life. It might seem risky to trust the Lord and like the baby Robins, I may poop on the rail at the thought of those risks. But He’s always coaxed me and pushed me through it. I could always hear Him from within. Have faith! Trust Me! Take the next step! And like the birdies, I did learn to fly. I learned to change and stretch and take risks so that I could live an ever-transforming life of growth and His blessing. And what a messy-pants glorious life it’s been!
Hebrews 13:5. “… For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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