The rest of the family emerged, unscathed, from the clutches of the Bird Walk-about, looking as if they’re trying to decide if they want to know us or not.

But it doesn’t matter. I knew the truth—those birds were out to get me.

Later, as I dwelt on the situation, wanting to both laugh and cry, I realized something. Sometimes, the events, locations or objects that seem the most interesting are the ones most likely to hurt us. The zoo hadn’t done anything wrong by offering the bird walk-about; the concept itself wasn’t a problem. Several people, even kids, were having a blast. But it was wrong for me, an unsuspecting bird-phobic, to go in there and expect to have a good time. I stepped inside and saw the danger, not the potential fun. I immediately started searching for an exit while the majority of those around me started searching for entertainment, a way to join in the chaos.

The bird walk-about, with its brightly colored exterior walls and friendly wooden signs, boasted something unique, something fresh, something new. It beckoned the average patron and lured them inside unsuspecting. Once inside, most patrons would do exactly as the majority did—yell “cool!” and join the fun.

Now obviously there’s nothing sinful about the bird walk-about, but work with me a moment for the sake of symbolism. What if that bird walk-about was a bar? A nightclub? A strip-joint? If you were brought inside such a location unaware, what would you do? Grab a beer and join the party? Or immediately start searching for your way out?

Even when we as Christians get ourselves into the most terrifying of situations, God provides a way out. He posts exit doors with giant black markered-signs, showing us the way to freedom, to light, to truth. The path to them might not seem easy—there might be several laughing children, women with brooms, and giant birds with attitudes in your way, but that escape is there if you choose to take it. 

What is your stand today? Are you inside the walk-about, wondering how to react? Are you uncomfortable in the chaos, or desensitized and unafraid of the danger, invisible as it may be to everyone else? Or are you standing on the other side of the exit doors, relieved and grateful that God showed you the way out of destruction?

After leaving the walk-about, my family and I hurried across the grounds to watch the penguins enjoy their late lunch. Slick feathered, happy, always dressed in their best—and unable to fly. Now that’s my kind of bird.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12: 2)


Betsy Ann St. Amant resides in northern Louisiana with her husband, Brandon. Betsy has a bachelor's degree in Christian Communications from Louisiana Baptist University and is actively pursuing a career in inspirational writing. Her first published Christian Fiction novel, Midnight Angel, is now available on amazon.com. You can contact her at betsystamant@yahoo.com.

*Photo: A smiling moment away from the bird cage.