Monday, January 13, 2014

Become the Sparrow


Have I told you about my husband before?

This dear man is so simple and easy when it comes to the things that I wrestle with and study and fight for.  It can be quite frustrating.  So today, when I was texting him and telling him that I am restless, excited and anxious about a job interview, he asked if maybe I should pray. 

Ok, like duh. Does he really think I haven't been pleading and begging God for help?  I want to leave the results up to God, really, I do, but then I begin to worry....what if he wants me to be broke and unemployed for some reason.  I trust God, but I am not really into that.

The dear husband's response: "Does he feed the sparrows..."

I want to easily dismiss this so I quip back, "Yeah, but they don't need much."

And I am not entirely incorrect.  I looked them up because everything is an opportunity to learn for me.  I was also surprised.  Sparrows might be simple, but they aren't so unlike us.  These are some of the things that I found:

Sparrows are very social.  They need to live in community.  They like to play and hang out with other sparrows.  They are also very loyal.  Sparrows will be part of a community, but they will mate for life. 

They eat, a lot and anything.  I mean, they can eat half their body weight.  When you think about the size of the bird, that seems quite miniscule, but when you then consider it to eating half YOUR body weight (which I have never done and I sincerely hope you haven't either), that is huge!  Most of us probably think that birds are seed and berry eaters (except for the robin who is always the early bird who gets the worm).  Sparrows eat insects as well, particularly around breeding times when they need more protein.  They are also good to have in your garden (even if some might consider the sparrow a pest for their seed eating).  Sparrows will eat insects that you might not really want in your house like spiders.

Sparrows have been around humans for a very long time.  I don't know if you are old earth or young earth, creationist or evolutionist, or some mix in between.  Scientists say the birds have been our companions for at least 10,000 years.  Perhaps because they are scavengers.  Perhaps because humans are also communal.

They live by natural rhythm.  They have a strong circadian rhythm (24 hour internal clock) and they reproduction is governed by the length of the day.  Light and darkness govern their lives.

What if I focused on being more like the sparrow? 

What if I chose to be more communal than isolated?  If I spent time with family and friends doing life rather than hiding in modern busyness and distraction?  Is the screen time all that necessary?  Could a hike with friends be as good as the earbudded time in the gym?  Is a meal shared more nourishing than a meal for 1 or 2?

I certainly wouldn't encourage anyone to eat half their body weight in anything, but are we too particular?  Do we heed the needs of our bodies?  Perhaps we need more protein (but don't pass the meal worms, please) or more vegetables?  Is our meal plan too boring-too rich, too restrictive, too processed?  Do we enjoy eating?  Do we try new things?  Don't tell this to the dear husband or he will be after me to try shrimp which looks a lot like meal worms to me!

Do we hang around other species?  I know that may sound silly, but there is a camaraderie of being connected to nature.  No matter what your ideology, the animals were here first. Acknowledging that and learning from them, finding our place among them, can put our concerns of life into a proper perspective.

And while we talk about nature, what about the natural rhythm?  We work long hours.  We have artificial light and artificial climate control to help us fight against nature.  We don't need to sleep 8 hours, just grab a Redbull on the way to the meeting.  We don't need to follow nature's plan on anything, really.  We are independent conquerors of all things natural...perhaps some of that causes the depressions and anxieties so common in modernity.

Sometimes my husband's simple take on things may actually be right on target. 

Almost time to fly to my interview.  Father, you've got this, right?




 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
 
Jesus speaking to his students in Matthew 6:25-34 New International Version

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