Three summers ago Joni and I did not have to turn on the morning news shows for visual entertainment. Every morning as we got ready for the day we would hear a familiar THUMP! That was the sound of “the crazy bird” returning for his morning concussion. Our bathroom has a large half-moon shaped window near the ceiling. Every morning this bird would fly to the window sill, sit there for awhile, look at his Day-Planner, fly back a few feet and then hit the window full on. THUMP! He would do this over and over. Day after day.
(This is a stunt double bird...not the actual bird. Photo Courtesy– Janesville Gazette)
Because I like to think I am smarter than that bird I would laugh and make fun of him mindlessly hitting the same window day after day after day. Stupid bird.
Then I would go out and do a pretty good imitation of this poor creature with my daily Christian walk.
Day after day I would go out and slam up against the same spiritual windows. Einstein was once quoted as saying that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I am not quite willing to concede that I am insane. But the truth is that I too often approach my spiritual life the same way everyday while somehow expecting different results. If I am hitting the same window over and over maybe it is time to change my approach. Scripture tells me that I should be producing fruit in my walk with Jesus.
If I am truly grafted to the true vine I will be producing fruit. But I too often decide to THUMP against the window of my own desires and selfishness. Jesus said this in the Gospel of John.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other. (John 15, NIV)
Sometimes I make this so hard. I am asked to trust in Jesus daily. When I do that Jesus says I will produce fruit. Then the Father will give me whatever I ask in His name. Then He commanded me to love one another. That is not a “helpful suggestion“. That is a command. But that doesn’t fit my plan.
My strategy is to ask for the Father to give me whatever I ask first and then I will get around to producing fruit out of my happiness. THUMP.
Then I decide that there are some people I simply cannot love. God understands. THUMP.
I rationalize that I just can’t produce fruit right now because of (insert today’s difficult life circumstance here). THUMP.
Yep. I am a lot smarter than that bird. It has only taken me a little over fifty years to figure out I need to change my approach. Stupid bird.
Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People and Bring'em Back Alive: A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church. You can reply by linking through daveburchett.com.