Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Focus, Fish, & Family

Yesterday I took this picture of our pond buddy, Denny Crane. I've taken several of him/her, which is probably really a relative of the one we named, but yesterday I was just struck by what an incredible hunter this bird was. Maybe my lesson from Sunday morning on Being Responsible was still in my head, but I've never seen such dedication, patience, and control in any animal as I have this lone sentinel of the pond. You hear about the hunting ability of lions, and tigers, and bears - oh my, but this guy will spend all day - if not disturbed by people - waiting for a chance to snag a tiny fish. He wades into the water, even with ice on the top in spots, then stands motionless for long periods waiting for a fish to swim by. Even then, I've watched him strike and miss more times than connect. I don't know if it's obtaining food for it's family or just trying to survive, but it's ability to keep a controlled focus on it's task is remarkable.
Like I said, Sunday's lesson was on a difficult passage, 1 Timothy 5, with all the instructions from Paul about taking care of family, providing for widows in need, and not supporting those who should be taken care of by their families or themselves. The most familiar passage is the charge that anyone who doesn't provide for their own family is worse than someone who was an unbeliever. Wow. Is being a responsible family member important to God? Obviously, and what is even more amazing in this passage is that Paul applies the principle equally to both our physical and spiritual family. There is an incredible merging of the two in his message.
Being responsible is not a popular subject in the world today. A world of "It's not my problem," "I'm a victim of my environment," and "Whatever!" Maybe we could learn a lesson from a bird.

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