I could win an Olympic gold medal in worrying. Maybe it’s my empathetic nature or maybe it’s descending from a long line of worriers, but I can crystal-ball all possible horrible outcomes in any given situation. Like most women, I balance a lot of roles – wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and boss lady – so there is no shortage of scenarios to obsess over.
One gray morning as my brain buzzed with tangled thoughts, I wandered aimlessly toward the big window behind the dining table, anxious fingers gripping my coffee mug tight. And as I gazed out at the red tube feeder hanging from the deck, I heard three little words in the deepest part of myself:
Watch the birds.
It felt like a directive, so instead of questioning, I obeyed. I stopped mindlessly staring and really noticed.
I watched goldfinches perch on the railing and peck at the seeds. A red-bellied woodpecker drilled loudly into the side of the house. Cardinals and blue jays nibbled at the suet.
I remembered Jesus’s words: “Watch the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or gather food into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. You are more valuable than they are, aren’t you? Can any of you add a single hour to the length of your life by worrying?”
He was right, of course. The birds looked healthy and well cared for. They were industrious but also content.
Birds, like people, come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. They sing their own songs and add beauty to the world in their own ways. They don’t try to be something they’re not.
And they don’t worry – about where their next meal will come from, or how they will shelter during summer storms, or about diseases or predators or all the other worst-case bird scenarios which, when you think about it, are quite grim.
They just live each day as it comes - fully present in the moment, doing what they were put on earth to do - and trust that the One who created them knows best how to care for them.
And so, I have a new strategy when my mind starts to think wild thoughts, or my hands grip the coffee cup a little too tight.
I look out the window, and I watch the birds.