“The heart of man plans his ways” (Proverbs 16:9)

Not long ago, Reid and I purchased a little wood birdhouse, and hung it on a branch in our Japanese maple outside our sunroom.  Then we waited to see if any birds would find interest in it.  Sure enough.  It didn’t take long, and a pair of small finches, looking for an Airbnb came and checked the little red house out.  Soon the pair started moving in with their nest building materials consisting of leaves, grass clippings, animal fur, feathers.  Then came a twig or two.  But their move-in process that caught our attention was the twig one of the birds “tried” to get into that little red house.  The hole in the house is only about an inch and a half in diameter.  The twig in his beak was at least five inches long.  No matter how he turned that twig, it just would not fit in the hole.  The result was the twig falling from his beak onto the ground.  But that little finch was determined that he was going to master that twig, the twig was not going to master him.  I could not tell you how many times we watched him attempt to control the twig, then drop the twig, fly down to the ground, swoop the twig back up into his beak, and fly up to the hole again…..and again…..and again.  The entire process gave us a new meaning to the term “birdbrain”.

This nest building event made me think about how we humans try to control life.  Always trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, so to speak.  For some reason we have the idea that we are powerful enough to dominate life’s events, dominate other people, dominate our circumstances.  Be honest with yourself.  Do you ever try to tell others what to do?  Have you ever thought if you had the right words, you could convince someone of something, or talk them out of something?  When circumstances go south in your life, is the first thought you have, “what can I do to fix this?”  Have you ever tried to manipulate things so they will go your way?  How about when you discover that you can’t control people or circumstances, how do you react?  Do you get depressed, anxious, fearful, grouchy?

So, why are we like this?  Why do we feel this need to control life?  Here’s my take on the dilemma.  My conclusion is mostly derived from struggling to control life myself.  I don’t believe our problem is our personality, or our temperament, or even our fear of the unknown.  I believe our problem is a problem of faith.  Simply put, we just flat out refuse to trust God.  Our attempts to control people and situations is a denial that God is all-powerful, all-good, and all-sovereign.  Oh, we say that he is all these things, but when it comes down to living life on a day-to-day basis, we somehow convince ourselves that we know more than God and can handle life’s situations all by ourselves, thank-you.  We know what’s best for ourselves, others, and our life than God does.

Today would be a good day for all of us to start fervently examining and praying about our faith.  Do we really have the faith to trust our Lord to take care of us, of our family, of our friends, of our trials and difficulties?  Of life???  Until we allow God to deal with our faith, we’re going to keep struggling to push our agenda of big twigs into the small holes of life.  Perhaps we’re more like our little “birdbrains” in our tree than any of us would like to admit.