Bring the Birds

I call my bird feeder the La Quinta.

Yes, the hotel. I gave it this name when my sweet neighbor put up her prominent bird feeder this year right alongside a glorious water feature birdbath. All the birds flock there now. Her bird feeder is called the Ritz.

I’ve never been into bird watching, but as I get older, I think this is what I am supposed to do, and it’s proven to be quite enjoyable. Last year, I sat out every summer morning and watched the various birds flock to the corner of my yard. I learned what a nuthatch looks like and how a blue jay will fight with squirrels. I had hours of entertainment.

This year, the same feathered friends all head next door. I can’t blame them. My neighbor put a lot of time and effort into her design. And before you feel even a tiny bit sorry for me, my neighbor’s feeder actually sits right outside my kitchen window, so I get to enjoy the birds from hers. Nonetheless, I still hope I will see a few when I am out in my own backyard.

As I sat outside the other day, praying for a bird sighting, God brought a scripture to mind:

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others, be humble, thinking of others better than yourselves. -Philippians 2:3  

Ouch. That hurts a little. I didn’t think having a bird feeder was selfish. But as I dug a little deeper into what God had for me, I realized those words had very little to do with birds.

I desperately want to make a difference and impact lots of people for the kingdom of God. The problem is my “Godly” ambition is easily twisted into selfish motives, and before I know it, I am doing things to impress others, rather than simply following Him. God places the people He wants in my life, be it 1 or 1000. It’s never been about me or my following. He asks me to be faithful to any number. When I follow Jesus, He gets the glory, and I get to watch how He changes lives.

My job isn’t to bring people to myself for my enjoyment or fulfillment,
My job is to put out the birdseed and know that He will bring the birds who need it.

I will tell you this: the birdseed is disappearing from my feeder, slow and steady.

  1. Focus on your own yard, not your neighbors. You know that whole "grass is greener" analogy. Turns out it's true. I struggle with this one in waves. But the end result is the same: comparison robs your joy. Look at all the things God has given you and give thanks.
  2. Stop doing things to impress. If you seek the approval of others, you will always fall short. Remind yourself of the opinion that really matters.
  3. Put it out. Whatever it is that God has given you, put it out there without expectations. Write, paint, teach, dance, host. The people who respond are exactly the people who need it.


JL McCarthy

July 28, 2020