I crossed another item off my bucket list the other day. I crossed the English Channel from France to England on a ferry then came back the next day. Actually, I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did that might have been on it.
One thing I noticed, though, as I tried to sleep that night in the English port city of Newhaven was the seagulls.
These beautiful creatures which swoop and glide over this sleepy town are A-1 pests when you’re trying to sleep. They must have awakened me five times with their noisy carousing during the night.
The next day as I sat waiting for the ferry to take me back across to the land of Voltaire, I saw a little fishing boat chugging out of the harbor, besieged by those pesky flying loudspeakers. They would land on the boat and take off again, probably hoping for the fish innards that wouldn’t be available until the fisherman gutted the day’s catch later on. Not only are they loud, they’re stupid. (I didn’t sleep well the night before. Can you tell?)
During this time I had an insight: if people from Texas populated this town there would be a lot fewer seagulls. I don’t know if you can eat them or not but I suspect if these feathered freeloaders showed up in Dallas their population would diminish greatly. And not from natural causes.
Lone Star state residents aren’t fond of loud, obnoxious birds.
So David, is there a spiritual point to this ramble? Hold on. Give me time to think. Okay, got it.
I imagine that people who live with these flying irritants have gotten used to them. At one time the birds might have pestered them too, but they’ve learned to tune them out.
They don’t hear them at night.
Oh, they notice them occasionally and are royally annoyed, but instead of getting their gun they just shrug and go on. (This is not to intimate that Dallas residents would shoot them, which would probably be illegal within the city limits. I’m sure Dallas residents abide strictly by the law in that area, especially when they’re besieged by loud, obnoxious birds).
Lots of us have things like that in our spiritual life—anger, fear, and other hidden sins. We don’t like them in our lives, but we’ve shooed them away and they came back, so it didn’t seem worth the effort to chase them completely away.
That’s why you see them roosting in our hair.
Or God may have given us partial victory in areas of our life that really bugged us, but we stopped short of total victory and learned to live with the rest. We no longer hear their squealing as they circle overhead.
A bit of advice: when you stomping your spiritual enemies, smash them until they are completely gone or they’ll come back. A few seagulls are great for atmosphere but those rascals have a tendency to make little birds which grow up and screech while you’re trying to sleep.
So, no mercy.
“I pursued my enemies and crushed them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. I crushed them completely, and they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet.
“You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes. They cried for help, but there was no one to save them— to the Lord, but he did not answer.
“I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth; I pounded and trampled them like mud in the streets. (2 Samuel 22:38-43, The Message)
Now, that I’ve thoroughly angered the bird lovers among us, I say, “Don’t worry.” The vast majority of Texans in Newcastle are tourists and those who are residents probably just gripe like everyone else without doing anything about it.
Anyway, it would take a whole lot of Texans to make even a small dent in the Newcastle gull population.
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“Too often we see things, not as they are but as we are.” Chuck Swindoll
Zig Ziglar tells the story of a first-grade teacher who asked her class if anyone had done anything fun the weekend. Little Johnnie’s hand shot up. “This week-end I went fishing with my daddy and we caught 70 fish that weighed 70 pounds each,” he enthused.
The teacher looked at him skeptically and decided this was a teachable moment. “Johnny let me tell you a story. This morning I was coming to school and suddenly a huge dinosaur started chasing me. He was ten feet tall with enormous fangs and horrible claws. He ran like the wind and just as he was about to catch me and eat me a little dog came out of nowhere, jumped on his neck, bit him, threw him to the ground and killed him. Now Johnny, do you believe my story?”
“Yes ma’am. Sure do,” Johnny said. “That was my dog!”