Friday, September 24, 2010

Life Lessons from a Little Bird

My kids often tease me about how much I love birds; I find it so peaceful just sitting back and watching them. Well, I'm amused that God has chosen these little creatures to teach me yet again, another powerful life lesson. I guess He knows the connection I feel for them and knows I'll pay attention if the lesson comes through them. As I sipped my coffee this morning, I glanced out our kitchen window to watch the birds and noticed something didn't look right. My heart sunk because I saw a bird not moving on our bird feeder. I assumed the worst and went outside thinking "What a great start to my day, removing a dead bird". But to my surprise, he started fluttering all about as soon as I approached the feeder. His tiny little head was stuck inside and I could only imagine how he felt as he sat there trapped with all these other birds around him helpless to come to his rescue. I reached out to try and gently pull him out but each time, he fluttered around so much that any effort I did to rescue him was to no avail. In essence, he was standing in the way of his own success. I saw a very clear way to release him but he would have to relax and let me lead the way. I then opened the top of the feeder so his attention would be drawn upward and sure enough, he stopped fluttering and just quietly watched me. It was only then that I was able to free him. He popped out, definitely a little stunned and then flew away. I stood there with a big smile on face realizing the amazing message God had just given me through this little bird.

How many times has God tried to help me and move me along in realizing the bigger vision He has for me but instead I flutter about just like this little bird? I don't stop long enough to acknowledge or accept His help. Instead, I stay focused on doing it my way. I'm no different than that bird, wanting to know the next steps but too busy fluttering about to see God clearly pointing the way. It's only when I seek out the calm and silence do I feel His presence and see the way He is leading me to go. I know God has such a bigger vision for us all and we are all often guilty of keeping ourselves so busy and not relying more on God to show us the way. My little interaction with this bird today was such amazing life lesson for me and one I know I needed to hear. This bird taught me the power that resides in just being still. Rescuing that little bird showed me how we often stand in the way of our own success, feeling trapped by our own perceived circumstances and not realizing the way is right there in front of us. I feel so incredibly blessed to have been given the opportunity to experience God's word firsthand. He taught me how to just "be" today and quietly wait for His guidance. All the answers are truly right in front of us, we just need to open up and acknowledge His presence.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It’s Just a Matter of Time…

My ezine article this week is all about time and how we make the choice to either let time define us or let us define time. As I working out this morning, I realized time is more than just something that we can either define or let it define us. Our perception of time really resides in whatever we are doing at a given moment. This thought occurred to me as I was told to go "all out" on a treadmill for just a mere two minutes but those two minutes dragged on with such a heaviness. I'd look at the clock thinking surely I must be done only to realize 30 seconds had passed by. Take that same two minute interval and apply it to something you love to do and it will fly by in a blink of an eye. So I found myself asking, "What is time?" When we say we don't have enough time, what are we really saying?

As a society, we've become so focused on time, scheduling our lives around it, constantly feeling like it's something we can catch if we just run fast enough. The Bible repeatedly tells us to not worry about tomorrow or fret over yesterday but to focus on the now. The now or the present moment is truly all we have. Is time then just that, the present moment and we've gotten caught up in labeling it and assigning it more power than need be? Rather than getting absorbed in the passing of minutes on a clock, what if we were to totally absorb ourselves in the moment, focusing our energy on experiencing everything that moment has to offer us? What if we could block out the thoughts of what we need to do later or feelings or hurt and regret for something we did in the past? Where did your last big inspiration or dream come from? It was probably in a place where you relaxed and allowed yourself to be lost in the moment. You blocked out everything else and just allowed yourself to totally be at one with the moment. Eckhart Tolle talks about the power of now in his book titled the same, The Power of Now. He encourages us to experience life through all our senses focusing on the present moment for that is where you truly connect with the divine source. As he writes, "The present moment is inseparable from life, so you are really deciding what kind a relationship you want to have with life." I now know why the Bible contains so many verses about living in the moment. God knows this is not our nature and He wants nothing more than for us to "get it". For in His all-knowing wisdom, that is where we can find Him, connect with Him and experience true inner peace and fulfill our life's purpose.

"I acquaint myself with Him and I am at peace; by that good shall come to me."- Job 22:21