My son saved his money for a year and a half to buy two parakeets, a cage, food and accessories. I remember when he first started saving; he thought he would never get enough money. But finally the day came when my husband took him to the pet store, and my son walked through our door with his prize and a gigantic smile. He named his blue bird, Icey, and his green bird, Dollar.
We taught our son how to take care of his pets, and we showed him how to clean the cage and change the food and water. My son especially enjoyed feeding the birds a certain plant covered in seeds. He would open the cage door, hold onto the yummy treat and stick his hand toward their greedy mouths. The birds would peck at the little plant, thoroughly enjoying their snack.
However, I noticed that the birds were very messy eaters, and little seeds fell all over my floor and furniture. I told my son that he would have to clean up all the seeds or feed the birds on the deck in the backyard. He decided to feed them outside so he could alleviate any extra cleaning he would have to do. I thought this was a good plan….at first.
One afternoon, my son decided that his birds deserved another tasty treat. He took the cage outside; and as he opened the cage and pushed in his hand, Dollar swooped down into a two inch opening under my son’s hand and flew into the heavens. Watching Dollar fly was breathtaking. It was obvious that he had been planning his escape for quite some time. I couldn’t believe that a bird who had probably not flown more than two feet could take flight so quickly and beautifully.
The awe I had watching Dollar soar through the air paralleled with the heartbreaking cry of my son, yelling, “Doooollllllaaaaarrrrrrr!”
My son was absolutely devastated. His blessing had flown the coup. I tried to comfort him—even reading Matthew 6.26 to him about God taking care of the birds. But I realized this was my son’s first experience with loss, and he needed time to mourn.
Watching the bittersweet moment of Dollar flying away and my son crying for him reminds me that we are only stewards of God’s blessings on this earth. Everything eventually will “fly the coup,” and we have such a short time to appreciate, enjoy and care for them. When I consider how fleeting my time is with the people, moments and things I love, it encourages me to not take them for granted. I want to be fully aware of how blessed I am before it is too late.
Questions: Is there anything that the Holy Spirit is telling you that you have taken for granted? What actions can you start to take that will help you embrace all that you have been given? Will you make a heart-commitment with God today to be a good steward of His many blessings?
“Show me, LORD, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.”
– Psalm 39.4 (NIV)
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