Recently I read an interesting fictional story with a good life lesson that we all need to be reminded of once in a while.
High in the Himalayan mountains lived a wise old man.
Periodically, he ventured down into the local village to entertain the villagers with his special knowledge and talents. One of his skills was to psychically tell the villagers the contents in their pockets, boxes, or minds.
A few young boys from the village decided to play a joke on the wise old man and discredit his special abilities.
One boy came up with the idea to capture a bird and hide it in his hands. He knew of course, the wise old man would know the object in his hands was a bird.
The boy devised a plan.
Knowing the wise old man would correctly state the object in his hands was a bird, the boy would ask the old man if the bird was dead or alive. If the wise man said the bird was alive, the boy would crush the bird in his hands, so that when he opened his hands the bird would be dead.
But, If the wise man said the bird was dead, the boy would open his hands and let the bird fly free. So not matter what the old man said, the boy would prove the old man a fraud.
The following week, the wise old man came down from the mountain into the village. The boy quickly caught a bird and cupping it out of sight in his hands, walked up to the wise old man and asked, “Old man, old man, what is it that I have in my hands?”
The wise old man said, “You have a bird, my son.” And he was right.
The boy then asked, “Old man, old man, tell me: Is the bird alive or is it dead?”
The wise old man looked at the boy, thought for a moment and said, “The bird is as you choose it to be.”
And so it is with our life. The power is in our hands. Certainly, there are aspects of life beyond our control. But consider that which is in our control. Our outlook. Our attitude. Our words. Our choices.
God has given us a great gift—our life. What will we do with it?
I have to admit that when I first heard about it I didn’t believe it. How can a plastic, painted owl actually scare off birds? But I was tired of bird poo on the deck and willing to try anything. So I visited a local farm supply store and fought back feelings of silliness long enough to buy an owl. And guess what?
It’s a big, fake owl that doesn’t move. It just sits there. It looks menacing and intimidating, but it’s completely harmless. I can tell it’s not real, but the birds that claim our trees as home can’t. So they stay away from the deck… and the flowers by the deck where we have a second one.
That’s sort of what Satan does with us. He sticks these ideas in our head of what could go wrong or what might go wrong… and we tremble with fear. We shake in our boots. We loose precious sleep. We bite our nails. We do everything imaginable except the one thing we need to do.
Take it to God in prayer and thanksgiving!
Consider Paul’s advice to the believers in Philippi:
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. ~ Philippians 4:6-7
We don’t have to let fake owls or fake fears get the best of us. Instead, we can take it to God and trust that He will work in every situation for the good of His kingdom. No matter what circumstances – real or imagined – you are facing, rest in God’s peace right now!