A Lesson from the Birds

We have experience much change in the past two months, and as I (Dan) sit at the water’s edge this morning I have finally made a moment to write. (We’ll see how far I get until the mosquitoes get the best of me.) My retreat at Rolling Ridge Conference Center ends in a few hours, and I give thanks for the time spent here.


We find ourselves in transition again. I finished at Global Ministries in August and began a new appointment in Massachusetts in September.

The birds stopped me on my way to the lake this morning. Specifically, a few woodpeckers. I breathed deeply as I watched the sun glisten on their wings as they flew from tree to tree. I waited expectantly for them to find the places on the trees they wanted to peck. I listened exultantly as they tapped out their chorus which echoed through the woods.

I’m not sure if they knew they were doing something extraordinary, because they were just doing what they were created to do. Yet their bobbing red tufts offered joy and peace as I embark on this new adventure. I have uncertainties and doubts and hopes and anxieties and excitement about the steps in the weeks and months ahead. And while I’m not always sure how to do certain tasks ahead, I need to remember some lessons from the birds: I have been created with gifts and talents, and I know how to use them. Rather than over analyze the trees, I need to fly to one, find a spot and start pecking, and if that doesn’t work out then I just need to fly to another tree.

I realize as I reread this that it might not make much sense to someone not inside my head. Well, it is what it is – a beginning of pecking. I guess I will just have to fly to a different tree and try again.

Peace ~ Dan


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