August 3, 2016
I was watching some small birds on the field as they looked for food. A large cat was running toward them, no doubt looking for a meal. I wondered what the birds would do. As the cat moved closer, the birds took a few steps away but seemed in no hurry. So the cat stopped, crouched and then moved very slowly toward the birds. They took a few more steps away, but the cat did not move. Obviously, it was waiting for the birds to become distracted – or maybe fascinated.
The birds flew up in unison and perched on a low fence – still within reach of the cat’s pouncing ability. The cat waited. And as though someone told the birds to fly away, they did just that. They flew to safety and the cat was outsmarted – and still hungry.
I have been thinking about that scenario and the life lessons that can be learned from it. Those birds were just doing life. Traveling as a group, they were looking for food. We could say that they had accountability to one another. It would be fun if we could know which one spotted the cat first.
The cat had one objective – devour a bird. It cared nothing about the relationship of the birds to each other. Eliminating one of them would bring no remorse. The cat was patient and clever. If those birds had become fascinated with the cat, it would have struck eventually. But they did not take that chance – they flew away.
That scene reminds me of what happened in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve became fascinated with the serpent – apparently a beautiful creature at the time – that contained the person of Satan. Engaged in conversation, Adam and Eve lost perspective. Satan’s message was the opposite of what they had heard from Creator God. Intrigued by the counterfeit god, they focused on him rather than “fly away.”
Before this day is over, most of us humans will probably find ourselves in a situation like that of those birds. We will think we can handle the dangerous intruder, or we will decide to run away to safety.
Pastor Bill Ehmann