As I ate my breakfast, I heard some wattlebirds scrawking outside amongst the bright golden trumpets of the Tecoma bush. I clapped my hands by the glass door to encourage them to take their racket elsewhere. They only flew away to the claret ash and came back almost immediately. I gave up and returned to my cereal and my reading.
I was up to the story in the Gospel of Luke about the elderly priest, Zachariah. It was his once-in-a-lifetime turn to go into the Sanctuary and offer incense to God. In that holy place, he had an amazing experience: an angel appeared by the altar and the poor man was scared stiff!
‘Don’t be afraid’, said the angel. ‘You and your wife will have a son and call him John’. The angel gave him some more wonderful promises, but the dear old man couldn’t take it all in.
‘Don’t expect me to believe what you’re telling me’, he said. ‘We’re way past the time for bearing children. We’ve never been able to have any, no matter how hard we prayed’.
‘I’m Gabriel’, said the archangel, ‘and God sent me to give you this message. Seeing you don’t believe what I’ve said, you’ll be unable to speak until the child is born’. And it came true. Dumb, unable to say why he’d been in the Sanctuary for so long, except by writing, Zachariah just had to wait. It seems like a hard lesson, but this child was to be special. He became John the Baptist.
I closed my Bible and laid it on the table. How much more do some people need? An angel gives him such exciting news and he misses out on the thrill of it because he won’t believe.
While I was meditating on this, I looked through the window and saw one of the wattlebirds land on the clothesline.
It did a somersault flip over the wire: round and round and round like a child on a bar! I laughed. It was then that I realised that God was speaking to me in this scene, so I listened. Having just read about Zachariah’s experience…and being so critical of him…I didn’t want to make the same mistake!
The wattlebird seemed to be having so much fun! After drinking the delicious nectar from the flowers, it was rejoicing!
From this I learned that God’s way of viewing things is different to mine. He doesn’t care what anyone sounds like when they show their appreciation for the way he provides for them. The birds might seem noisy to me, but God created their voices and I believe he appreciates their melody. Perhaps he heard all the other sounds that morning and they blended into a majestic orchestration.
There was a second truth I learnt. It was to rejoice at the things my heavenly Father shows me about himself. When he provides for me, I should be thrilled like the wattlebird and really show how I feel. No half-baked solemn gratitude. Get excited, Lyn, and thank him. Dance around or whatever reaction feels right at the time. Perhaps I could wave my arms in the air…or shout! No matter how hard my life may seem at times, there’s always something to be thankful for. I know God doesn’t mind what I do to rejoice or how I do it, just as long as I DO it!
To sing, I don’t need to know how to read music, because the one who wrote the whole score, hears and rejoices with me.