Posted by: Steven Grabiner | January 18, 2011

INSIGHT: Mockingbird Muse

Last November, an unusual occurrence began in my office. A mockingbird began to come and tap at my window. Not just an occasional tap. But a regular tap, tap, tap, tap. The bird was so insistent that it began to bleed on the window. I tried a variety of techniques to get it to stop. I placed a picture in one of the windows, and had colored paper put over another one. Unfortunately Mr. Mockingbird continues to come back, disturbing my peace and dulling his beak.

Someone googled mockingbirds and found that due to the territorial nature of the bird, this activity is fairly common. Mr. Mockingbird thinks he sees a competitor and begins to fight it. (As I am writing, he is again whacking away at his own image.) Yesterday, as we were discussing his annoying antics in the office, the lessons began to clarify.

In our spiritual walk, we are frequently our own worst enemy. We spend our energies beating imaginary foes, whose taunting presence would disappear if we only looked the other way.

“When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of strength and life. Hence it is Satan’s constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Saviour and thus prevent the union and communion of the soul with Christ. The pleasures of the world, life’s cares and perplexities and sorrows, the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections–to any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind. Do not be misled by his devices. Many who are really conscientious, and who desire to live for God, he too often leads to dwell upon their own faults and weaknesses, and thus by separating them from Christ he hopes to gain the victory” (Steps to Christ p. 72).

Beyond peace and quiet, I am concerned that the mockingbird might actually kill himself with his antics. Of greater concern, is that I might unknowingly be repeating his foolishness.

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