sign from above?

Reflection, meditation, contemplation….all good, helpful, beneficial and safe practices – right? So you might think. This past Friday was intended to be a personal day of rest and reflection for me. In order to do something completely different, I headed to the Morton Arboretum to spend time out in nature. I figured experiencing and appreciating God’s creation might put me in a great place to hear what He may want to say.

Finding a beautiful quiet spot on the side of a lake seemed like the perfect location to plant myself and listen. The magnificence of spring along with the soft breeze of a warm April day placed me in a very happy place emotionally and spiritually.

It was all so good, so right, so perfect, so tranquil…until some smart aleck bird, like a sniper on mission, took a shot at me. His aim was perfect. I was hit directly on the top left side of my head. Yes. A bird – relieved himself at the expense of my noggin. Seriously – was that necessary?

Frantically, I searched for a way to clean my now soiled scalp. The only option available was a giant leaf lying on the ground. This was not a comforting alternative considering the vast array of other species of wildlife traversing the local landscape living an equally unregulated existence as this offending bird.

Ever hear the phrase “dirty bird”? Try filthy disgusting fowl. I couldn’t believe it. Here I was trying to be contemplative and calm. Trust me….that was not a calming experience. I mean, I’m not a poster child for Backpacking Magazine to begin with. I got kicked out of boy scouts for crying out loud. This is not helping my whole “grape nut” aversion. And people wonder why I’m not an “outdoors” guy.

The arboretum rangers put all kinds of signs around that read, no running, no biking, no smoking, no swimming. Apparently all the rules are for humans leaving birds and other fauna free to violate any sense of decorum. This is what separates man and beast. What exactly did this bipedal endothermic vertebrate have against a reflective bipedal hominid? With 1700 acres of land and 4,000 trees – one bird finds one limb with one bald head beneath it – coincidence?

Was this a sign from above? It certainly came from that direction. So the question is -what was God trying to tell me? I suppose there are all kinds of speculative interpretations. At this point, I have no conclusive answers. But there are a least two things I’ve come to realize.

For one, God has an incredible sense of humor and will do what is necessary to keep me humble. Secondly, much of my reflection time was spent worrying about the future. Unfortunately, it took this experience to remind me of Jesus’ words, “do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

There is comfort in knowing that no matter what happens in life, I am more valuable to God than a bird. And now- I know at least one reason why.

P.S. There were no animals injured in this encounter. My wife is a witness to the veracity of these events.

4 Responses to “sign from above?”

  1. 1 Kandi Gorski
    April 30, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Your description of your fowl (foul) encounter makes it even funnier! Reminds me of the time when I was a kid, that I was out with my Mom enjoying a lovely spring day. She had one of those hair-dos that looked like there was a nest right on top of her head. Well, some bird must have thought it was a target and aimed right for her. Poor Mom tried to dive out of the way, but the bird had a strategic locking device and carried out the attack with modern day precision – much to my ten-year old delight.

    So, where are you going to go next week – the zoo?

  2. 2 Joanne Couture
    April 30, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    I love God’s sense of humor. Thanks for sharing the moment. My first date with my husband Paul was at Brookfield Zoo. As I’m trying to play it cool while walking by a very active Baboon Island (ever been to Baboon Island in spring???) a nasty old pigeon hits me square on the head with what felt like a small ice cream cone. Being bald in this type of situation is definitely an advantage when addressing clean up. Paul walked me to the big fountain and cleaned me up… after he stopped laughing (10 minutes) 🙂 God not only knows when a sparrow falls, He knows when something falls from a sparrow AND where it is going to land!

  3. May 1, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Couldn’t stop laughing!! Great story!!

    Unfortunately, Glenn has had SEVERAL similar experiences and I have had the opportunity to witness two of them!! Husbands heads, flying birds, good laughs…being an observing wife isn’t all bad!!

    Thanks for sharing the story. 🙂

  4. 4 Phyllis
    May 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Great encounter! Could have been worse, I suppose. I was thinking that the leaf you used to clean up was going to be poisonous…. God’s creatures always provide fun, laughter and insight.

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
April 2008
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Thoughts gone by

"No problem can withstand the assault of substantial thinking." Voltaire



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