I was in my yard when something in the sky caught my eye. I looked up to see a large black bird, aka buzzard, flying toward me. And then it scooped down and then up again and then to the right and to the left and down again. I stopped what I was doing and watched the bird dart and dive. Curious.
As the big bird flew closer to me, I realized what was causing it to fly so sporadically. A little bird.
Since I am not an ornithologist or even a “birder,” I’m not sure what type the little bird was but for the story’s sake, I’ll call it a mockingbird. I’ve watched mockingbirds attack my dogs and it looked similar.
The little mockingbird was diving and darting at the big bird and as they came closer, I heard the little bird screeching (mocking) the buzzard. The buzzard would try to fly straight and away from the nuisance but the little bird would give chase. Watching the big bird dart and dive and circle to get away was a lot like an F-16 fighter jet trying to divert a cargo plane.
I wondered why the big bird didn’t just turn and smack the little bird out of the sky or turn around and chase the little bird. I thought that due to the size of the birds, my plan could work. And work well.
I started to cheer for the buzzard and scold the mockingbird. My neighbors must have thought I was nuts when they heard me calling out to the birds of the air.
“Just fly, big guy! Flap your wings and fly away!”
“Little bird! Leave him alone! Go find someone your own size to pick on!”
“Hey, big bird! Smack that bully bird out of the sky! Don’t take that from him!”
My coaching from the ground was to no avail. The birds flew out of sight in the same manner as when they approached.
And I was left alone in my back yard feeling a little bit disturbed by the ordeal. Why wouldn’t the big bird just fly away? It was perfectly capable of it.
I may not be a “birder” but I am a pretty good “googgler” so I have since learned that the bird activity I witnessed is called mobbing. That seems about right.
In my life, there have been times I felt mobbed by annoyances that threaten to break my flight pattern or even drop me out of the sky. I have let the little annoyances continue to dive and peck at me and then they grow into big annoyances. Instead of focusing on the clear, blue sky in front of me and flying strong and straight, I let the annoyance detour me.
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. Colossians 3:2
Easier said than done, I know!
“Little” annoyances can be anything – even a scary diagnosis, a troubled child, anxiety and depression, a job loss, the death of a loved one, an uncertain future, a troubled past…
When we focus on our troubles, they threaten to overtake us and detour us from what the Lord has determined for us. Throughout my life, my mother has always pointed me to Jesus when life’s annoyances bother me. She has experienced heartache and grief but has continually put her trust in the Lord – even when mobbed by life.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously,
and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33
Not everything we want – but everything we need to get through the difficult situations. The Lord will give us everything we need to flap our wings and fly even when there is a little bird of annoyance pecking at us.
When a big bird is being mobbed, one of the tactics it sometimes uses is to do a barrel roll and show the little bird its sharp talons. I wish I could have witnessed that technique! That’s the tactic I would like to use. Instead of just continuing my fitful flight, I like the idea of fighting back. But sometimes we have to just keep flapping our wings and ignore the “little” annoyances – and let the Lord fight our battles for us.
…but I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward
to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and
receive the heavenly prize for which God,
through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Phil. 3:13-14
Press on, my friend! Take flight. And as my mother always says, “Keep your eyes on Jesus!”
Are the “little” annoyances bothering you? How can I pray for you?