The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has become a regular winter visitor at Le Avian Cafe.
Photography by Curtis and Norma Beaird
Article by Norma Beaird
As we continue our "Finding Wonder" series, I want to talk about finding wonder in the midst of chaos. In the world we live in today, a world of confusion, chaos and calamity, we sometimes find ourselves waking up each morning with what seems to be a dark cloud over our head. Instead of waking up to hope, faith and a new outlook on life, we find that the messages of hope and faith are replaced with messages of doom and gloom. This is especially true if you get a steady diet of television news and online newspapers. And, it's even more true if you are constantly watching the election coverage.
Wisdom has been replaced with foolishness.
Politicians, scandals, tragedies, shootings, drug trafficking and all manner of crimes cover the airwaves like green pollen covers the front porch. Everywhere you turn is bad news. Consequently, it is not inaccurate to say that there is a spiritual dark cloud over this country and over our towns and communities. Somewhere along the way, something happened, and it wasn't good.
Morality was replaced with hedonism.
One thing lead to another, and here we are....
Neighbors aren't neighbors anymore. Generosity of spirit has been replaced with selfish motives. Crime is running rampant, even in the quiet rural communities. The workplace has become a place of fear and dread. A classroom has become a place where people are forced to defend themselves. Drug trafficking has become the new income stream. Churches have become more concerned with money and power than they are with souls. A country that once took its identity in the comfort and peace of freedom is turning into an overbearing police state.
Moderation was replaced with indulgence; and now,
optimism has been replaced with anger.
.....but thankfully, we have the birds.....
Rocky, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, is looking for Chef Curtis' famous Peanut Butter Tree Spread.
Thank God for the birds. When it seems that chaos and pandemonium is breaking loose around you and that dream of peace and quiet is relegated to days gone by, we can look outside of our circumstances and listen to the melodious sounds of bird song. We can see the woodpeckers pecking away on the old pecan tree and drumming on the barn to attract their mate. Even though chaos reigns supreme, the birds continue to behave as birds - singing, pecking, mating, nesting and feeding their young. If the environment becomes hostile and threatens their sanctuary, they move on to greener pastures and continue doing what God created them to do. Even though conditions change around them, they take cover and continue to behave as birds.
Sometimes, we need to take a lesson from our feathered friends. After all, God's beautiful winged creatures can teach us a lot about life. No matter what, birds continue to build their nest, feed their family; and, most importantly, they continue to spread their wings and fly. If they detect danger or a predator, they instantly respond to the threat and move to a place of safety. They are always singing or chirping or calling, but they are always aware. They don't give up who they are as God's winged wonders, but they live life with both efficiency and awareness. They keep on.....keeping on. In other words, they don't give up.
We can find wonder in the beauty of birds, a wonder that replaces the anxiety of a world in chaos.
No one will ever accuse the mainstream media of providing us with a feeling of peace and safety. However, God has provided us with a way to calm our fears and ease our pain. Life is not easy. Sometimes, it's just overwhelmingly difficult. Still, we can find solace in the words of the Bible and in the fact that no matter what happens, God is still in control. When we walk outside and see the birds in flight and hear the calls of the wild, we are reminded that the Creator of all things bright and beautiful will protect us and give us peace, if we will slow down and allow Him to bring tranquility into a world of chaos.
These things I have spoken unto you,
that in Me ye might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I Peter 3:11
Let him eschew evil, and do good;
let him seek peace, and ensue it.
Copyright 2016, Curtis and Norma Beaird. All rights reserved.