Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Woodpeckers, muffins and the soul

Good morning,
I pray that the day is finding you well.

I was up early this morning sitting outside in my favorite chair. Abe, my dog, and Mattie, my cat, were sitting with me. I was just sitting there, wasting time with God, thinking about my new grandchild and talking with God. Abe was lying in the grass and Mattie was busy scratching on her favorite tree. The morning was quiet and the air was fresh. I was wondering what I would write about this morning. I had lots of thoughts but nothing that was really hitting me. Then the quiet was broken by pecking sounds.

Peck, peck, peck…I looked around for the source of the sound and after awhile I spotted a woodpecker up in one of the trees, pecking along, peck, peck, peck…I was watching this woodpecker and as I watched I began to be thankful that I am not a woodpecker. Here this woodpecker is, beating its head against a tree. Why is it beating its head against a tree? Because it knows that there is a tree grub under the bark and it is pecking along so that it can get its breakfast.

I began to think how horrible that would be. I began to imagine that instead of going to the cupboard or refrigerator to get my breakfast I would instead have to take a pick and start picking at the cement until I unearthed a muffin. And I would have to do this until I found enough muffins to sustain me for the day. The only thing that I would have to look forward to is pick, pick, picking at the cement again tomorrow for more muffins.

I had been watching the Natural Geographic Channel, I like the National Geographic Channel, and from watching this channel I know that woodpeckers are specially adapted for pecking trees. They have developed a cushion between their beak and their skulls to soften the impact that pecking, or in other words, beating their heads against a tree, against their brains. The funny thing about adaptation; it doesn’t happen over night, adaptation takes a while. I began to imagine the first woodpeckers finding bugs to eat under bark. It must have hurt to do this but the bugs were so good to eat that they kept at it until eventually they developed a cushion to soften the blow.

I began to think about Del and Suzanne who recently came back from Africa, they work on clean water projects. They told us about how these village people would walk four hours in each direction to get “dirty” water, for this was the only water that was available. They would do this every day. At the end of every day the only thing that they had to look forward to was to walk four hours in each direction to get water. They too have adapted. Their feet are callused and their legs are strong.

As I sat in my favorite chair this morning I was struck by the fact that I don’t have to pick for my food, or walk for my water.

I began to think about adaptations.

How have I adapted, how have I built up calluses and such, to cushion the blows to my soul when I am confronted with the fact that I have a pretty easy life. I don’t have to worry about water, and I don’t have to pick for my breakfast.

My prayer for today is that I worry less about me and pray more for others.

I am reminded of something Jesus said:
Matthew 6:19-21 19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The question that I am asking is, “Have we adapted to the point where our souls are cushioned from the pecking and picking from God, can we still feel His proddings?”

Something to think about.

Blessings,

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