Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What is my obsession with bird "stuff?"

Core thought: If life isn’t working for you, maybe you’re still being too “seedish!”

This will hopefully be the last post concerning bird waste, but I can’t help it! I heard a sermon by Rick McKinley of the Imago Dei Community Church in Oregon (He’s Donald Miller’s (Blue Like Jazz) pastor). He told the story of going out in his backyard only to be almost knocked over by one of the most offensive odors he had ever encountered. He said you could almost see the green smog over his yard. He then goes over to the fence and sees his neighbor (also on staff at his church) shoveling bird manure on his garden.

He told his neighbor, who had given him vegetables before, not to bother giving him anymore! “But you can’t beat this organic stuff…it will be great!” his neighbor responded. Rick jokingly said he wasn’t convinced, but upon reflection, he marveled at what God reminded him of in the scene before him.

In the mystery of God’s biological brilliance, the seed so tiny, dies to what it is…dies to its smallness. It takes the filth, and dirt, and chaos around it and extracts what it needs to begin a transformation that is difficult to comprehend, yet easy to ignore. It is true, that in an acorn there lies a giant oak. (I wonder what a redwood or sequoia seed looks like!)

The seed produces a new kind of creation so different from its “seediness!” No longer something tiny that can so easily be ignored, it becomes a tree that reaches toward the sun, and does so many wonderful things a seed could never do had it remained a seed.

By dying to itself and yielding to God’s process of transformation, that seed takes the circumstances that surround it (dirt, decay, water, air and light) and grows into a tree, that brings forth fruit for nourishment, shade for pleasure on a hot day, life-giving oxygen from the carbon dioxide we breathe out as waste, wood for a variety of uses, and more seeds to eventually reproduce itself!

In short, a tree is an amazing, and often ignored, blessing from God that has a life-giving, life enhancing purpose! The Bible reminds us over and over again to be like a tree! We are not here to complain about how bad things are; we are to trust God to show us how to die to our own self-centeredness (through our relationship with Him through Christ) that we might grow into new creations, taking everything this life can throw at us and become life-enhancing children of His who bring blessings in our wake!

Are you frustrated? Stagnant? Cynical? Maybe you’re still acting like a seed, cold, hard, far from fulfilling your destiny. Sure, life can be smelly, and dirty, and chaotic, but if we trust the Great Gardener, He’ll grow us into something beyond our imagination!

I wonder how God feels when we ignore His genius! If He can take a tiny seed, dirt, chicken poop, water, air, and light to do what He does with a tree, why do we worry about all the stuff we worry about? He can handle it, and He will if we trust Him, and in the process, we will be transformed!

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