By Brad Campbell –
Just a thought to help start your week.
I met this fellow (or lady, as the case may be) earlier this month as it was perched alongside a sandy beach of Alabama’s eastern-most gulf coast. The bird was very large, and I could see it quite a ways back as I walked toward the sand. It was aware of my presence, too, stopping momentarily two or three times to glance in my direction. The closer I got, the slower I walked. First of all, I wanted to get close enough to catch some good pictures, one of which you see here. And secondly, I did not want any bird with a long very sharp beak getting mad at me. Besides, this bird was at least two feet tall, and it was sitting atop a fence railing that made it taller than I am. I would have had to pass within inches of that sharp beak in order to step onto the beach.
Here I was – a grown man – and yet I didn’t wish to be attacked by a bird, of all things. An older couple strolled up behind me not very long after I stopped to snap some pictures, and it was as far as they dared go as well. So we stood and talked about the bird. We talked about the beauty of the ocean and the dancing dolphins our for their morning feeding, about the surrounding areas and the little towns nearby, and about our respective churches. We talked about our worship styles and the sizes of our congregations. We talked about the beauty and the goodness of God. All of this with complete strangers. But we had the same focus that morning – a very large intimidating bird.
If God’s people could only focus on the same things – the goodness and grace of God in this world, then how much better off we would all be. I can’t say how the rest of the day went for that older couple, but I left that spot that morning knowing I had been in the presence of God, and I had a beautiful day. Had I not stopped, partly in awe, partly in fear, partly in amazement, to watch that very large bird, I would have missed my encounter with those lovely people and quite possibly with the One Who designed that all of our paths should cross that day.
The very large bird had a beak with a very sharp point. And God certainly has a point to all that He does and to every path on which he places us each day. May He show you the point this week as you continue to prepare for Christmas day. May your path be crossed by some beautiful creatures and some lovely people, and may you realize just how much you have in common in God’s plan.
Just a thought.