Have you heard the story of the little bird before? Here are my thoughts on it and our reactions to the things that happen in our lives, especially now, as we make choices about the ways we respond to our circumstances.
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A little bird was flying south for the winter. He got so cold that he froze up and fell to the ground in a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped manure on the little bird. As he lay there in the manure, the bird began to realize how warm he was. The manure was actually thawing him out!
He lay there warm and happy, but soon he began to complain about the odor. A passing cat heard the little bird complaining. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of manure and promptly dug him out - and then ate him.
The moral of the story is that not everyone who drops manure on you is your enemy (sometimes they are even unaware they've done it) and not everyone who digs you out is your friend. So instead of complaining when you're in a miserable situation, know when to speak and when to keep quiet.
For instance, when those I love complain and tell me how awful their circumstances are, it affects my view of the person they feel has done something to them. Then, even though things are rosy again, I've still been left with the smell of the wrongs that were supposedly committed and it isn't that easy for me to forget.
There are also times when being dug out of the manure in our lives can do us more harm than good. There may be things we were meant to learn while we are in those situations and being rescued isn't any help to us. It's like our attempts to help a butterfly out of her cocoon. We may think we are doing a good thing, but that butterfly would die because there wasn't time for her wings to strengthen before she was freed.
What messy things do you need to go through in your life?
I read recently about a lady who became a drug addict at 15 years old and for the next 15 years of her life that was her story. As a result of that lifestyle, she wound up in prison. After she was released, it took many more years, but she ended up becoming a pastor who specifically went into women’s prisons and ministered to the ladies there. Now she has purchased a large home where female ex-offenders can go to live when they are released until they get on their feet again. You can read more about Cynthia and her amazing story at recoverychick.com
If you or I had met that lady during her years as a drug addict, we would probably have thought she was so buried in garbage that she would never amount to anything. And we would have been so wrong. No one is beyond hope. As I volunteer with the homeless, the addicted, and those in prison, I don’t want to ever forget that story. I want to see past all the outward things to the potential within each person I meet.
As our world changes, may we be those who see the good in people, who encourage, help, and bring out the best in others.
Take care, CarolYour Chief Encourager