(Excerpt from God Loves Birds, by Dawn Jones)
Earlier this summer I rode my town bike to the nearby feed store to purchase a couple of bags of bulk bird seed, each weighing 50 pounds. The owners know me, but looked a bit incredulous, (or was it mild amusement?), when they noted that I was toting my wares home in the second-hand child carrier attached to my second-hand Schwinn. No matter. Trailing the cumulative 100 pounds was not as significant as unloading it once I arrived home, not wholly unlike the railroad ties from the back of my old Suburban from the year before!
Gratefully, the birdseed is packaged in thick and hearty reinforced bags. Surely they would be safe from unwelcomed intruders. But thanks to my naivety, I later discovered one bag that I had left sitting on the driveway stealthily chewed into with some of the contents spilled onto the ground. Fine. Not to be outdone by some thieving rodent or squirrel, I loaded the bag (with some effort) into the large plastic trash container on top of the other bag already neatly seated in there. Of course it didn’t exactly fit, but that didn’t seem to matter since the container’s top had been missing for a long time anyway, being eaten by the garbage truck several years ago. That should take care of the critters; they wouldn’t go to the trouble of getting at the seed now.
However, ignorance, in this case, was not bliss, but it was messy. My husband duly informed me that, once again, critters had plundered my stock of feed scattering their leftovers on the garage floor. Now it was my move again. Seed sacks repositioned, top removed from some other container down in the basement placed over the seed, hard plastic small (portable) lock-top container fitted into place atop the larger one. Ha! Let them try THAT one!
Fortunately, this time, all they managed before giving up was to chew off the plastic locks, but apparently then decided to chalk this round up in my favor. They haven’t come back…yet. It wouldn’t take much inattention on my part, however, for the neighborhood squirrels and/or mice to consider my slack as an engraved invitation to another feast.
Our time and energy are so very much like the precious bird seed, and the demands of our lives are reminiscent of these persistently pesky squirrels. Without deliberate boundaries, life’s “demands” take on a marauding quality, depleting what we would otherwise have in reserve, rather than preserving that what we have for those with whom we would choose to share it. The “it” I am referring to is, of course, both our time and our energy. And time and energy are much in short supply for our relationships with family, spouse, friends, as well as time alone with the Lord Himself Who waits patiently for us each and every day.
Or again, my pitifully attacked birdseed is like the indescribably valuable spiritual food that God has graciously provides for us. This expensive and necessary provision must be jealously guarded from the attack of our Enemy, who stands ready at all times to “break in and steal” in the form of busy-ness, or deception, or guilt feelings, or the many other forms of assault in his arsenal, since he is both a thief and a liar. He does his reconnaissance well, knows his options exhaustively, and can be very, very persistent. But his tricks are not new, and we are assured by excellent sources that we have more options at our disposal then he does. Many more.
Both of these potential drains on our resources must be diligently and constantly guarded against. It is only with God’s wisdom that we should mete out our precious resources of time and energy according to His plan. It is through diligent use of our time and energy that we prevent the wasting away of our intimacy with our Heavenly Father. Both can be misused and abused, but only with our consent, whether ignorant or intentional.
Personally, I paid for the birdseed and went to considerable effort to tote it home, so I’d rather use it for my intended purpose.