As with many Saturdays, page 121 came in at least two parts. The first part was an unwinding at Steak-N-Shake for a late/early dinner following Friday’s work as page 120 ran right up to the start of page 121. After spending the first hour of the day eating and unwinding, I headed to bed for some much needed sleep. After sleeping in, the second part of the day was a low-key, relaxing day as the chilly temperature and light rain made outdoor activity not so desirable. We did make it out to run some errands during the day, but much of my day was spent relaxing and going through the photos I took yesterday afternoon at Potato Creek.
The photo included on this page is one that I took yesterday. After a little research, I believe it may be a yellow warbler but I’m still at the very beginning stages of learning to recognize and identify the birds that I have the opportunity to photograph. Regardless of what it actually is, its beauty in both appearance and song is incredible. In the past three days I have seen and photographed a blue, a red, and a yellow songbird that were all new to me. I’m pretty sure they are not new to the area and I very well may have been in their vicinity before, this was just the first that I noticed. While it is nice to learn more about the subjects of my photos, my knowledge doesn’t influence them being what they were created to be. They share their beauty and sing their songs whether I know what they are or even know if they exist.
In a recognition driven society, we can learn a lot from the ways of the songbirds. Even among the birds, there are those who tend to draw my attention in greater ways than what these small birds do. When I head to the park, I first look for the bald eagles, or the osprey, as their size and beauty in flight tend to draw attention and makes them easy to see. The lesson learned though, is not so much about my reaction but about the faithfulness of each of these birds doing what they were created to do regardless of my knowing what they are or even knowing they exist. Watching them go about their day singing their songs of praise, and knowing they do so whether I notice or not, makes me evaluate why I do what I do. God says that if I do my “acts of righteousness” to be seen by people, then what little recognition that comes from people is all the reward I will get. God’s desire is that we live in such a way that Christ is lifted up to be seen by others. I’m afraid that far too often our praise and songs ebb and flow in direct correlation to how much recognition we receive. How would our lives be different if the song of our life was consistent regardless of who was watching and who knew our name? Some of the most beautiful lives I have known are those who have lived their life each day doing what they were created to do. To do so with no thought of notice or recognition is an act of humble service and obedience.
I pray that you and I would seek to honor God through our faithful practice of worship, especially when no one is watching but God. I pray that we would seek to be what and who God created us to be without concern for the titles and labels our human nature often desires. I pray that we would pay closer attention to who others are in Christ than to who the world says that they are.