Much of the pain in life comes from having a life plan that you’ve fallen in love with. When it doesn’t work out, you become angry that now you have to pursue a new life plan.
-- Author Unknown
One of my favorite birds is the black-capped Chickadee. This small, North American songbird is easily identified by its black cap and bib, with white sides to the face. Its underparts are white with rusty brown on the flanks. Its back is gray and its tail is usually slate-gray. The males and females look much the same and vary in size only slightly. It is notable for its capacity to lower its body temperature during cold winter nights, its good spatial memory to relocate the caches where it stores food, and its boldness near humans (they can feed from the hand).
Surrounded by trees and vegetation they prefer, these little songbirds grace our home with their presence year round. And while I have yet to sit down long enough to encourage hand feeding, I keep our bird feeders supplied with food so they will fly about our porch daily.
This year I’ve named one of our regulars Stubborn Sammy. Forced into a lineup, I honestly couldn’t pick him out of the crowd. It’s not his looks that identify him; it’s his behavior. He’s not your average little Chickadee.
For one, he wants inside the house. For weeks now he hits the outside of our windows, trying with all his might to get inside. Sitting on a clothes line, eyeing his projectory, he heads in and batters the windows using his tiny feet first, then flapping his wings with surprising force against the panes.
He’s also oddly interested in us and seems well acquainted with our movements about the house. If we’re upstairs he aims high. If he sees me working in my first floor office, he’s rapping on the window behind my desk.
Evidence of his tenacity can be seen on particular panes, and this weekend I’ve got to do a little window washing. But sparkling clean windows concern me as well. If he sees himself he may think it’s another bird who has successfully accessed our home. This may inflame a passion that could injure him.
It occurs to me that Stubborn Sammy is like a whole lot of us, at times. We devise a life plan and move forward head first. But occasionally, and try as we might, we hit a wall instead. We hit opposition. We can’t find a way to move forward with our plan and our hope for happiness is replaced with feelings of disappointment, anger, frustration, hurt, and depression. If we’re not careful, we can waste a lot of time and energy when we could decide to open our minds and our hearts to new plans, new people, new lessons, new hopes.
Let’s give God an open door to our hearts so He might introduce another plan, devised so we will experience an even happier life. Let’s attach ourselves not to one particular plan, but the hope for plans that draw us in and engage the best of ourselves.
Joan Bay Klope can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.