Pathetic or Profound…?

Rounding the corner of the house, as usual, to get into the truck and leave for work,  I encountered a couple of pesky robins who were reacting to my presence near their nest. Snuggled securely in a lilac bush near the corner of our garage, the nest was neatly cradled between two branches about five feet above ground.

The robin nest had often attracted my attention.  And every morning when I walked past it, the scolding robins would harass me with ‘squawking and swooping down at my head’.   I hated to disturb them, but there seemed to be little that I could do to remedy the encounters.  Earlier observations had revealed that four eggs had been laid and that two had already hatched.

Last week, as I passed by the nest, the same scenario began to play out with this caveat.  Stopping to peek into the nest, I checked on the ‘hatching’ progress.  The two robins were perched nearby…one sitting a few feet away on the tee bar of our clothes line and the other sitting on the corner of the peak of the gable of the neighbor’s roof holding a worm in its beak.     I gently pulled a couple of branches out of the way so I could see.  All I found was an empty nest.

No nearby debris or signs of struggle gave any clue as to the reason the nest was empty.  And judging from the reaction of the robins, they appeared to be as bewildered as I was.

It was a scenario that was both pathetic and profound.  Pathetic in the sense that the little birds were continuing to bring food to an empty nest.  It was sad.  But it was also profound as I considered the fact that during my lifetime I, too, had often exerted a great deal of energy and expended a great deal of resources on an activity that God would evaluate as ‘dead, empty stuff’.

The words of the angels to the women at Jesus’ tomb,  ‘WHY DO YOU SEEK THE LIVING AMONG THE DEAD?’ kept ringing in my ears.   Good question.  Profound reality.

Why do I spend so much on so little and then wonder why my life is so empty?

Lord, please grant me Your grace.  Please help me discern the difference between what is holy and what is unholy, between what is righteous and what is unrighteous and between what is ‘dead’ and what is ‘alive’.   And, please help me walk in the ways that You would consider eternally good and alive.  Amen.

7 thoughts on “Pathetic or Profound…?

  1. Great post Dad! We all need to evaluate what we are making priorities in our life and if they are pleasing to the Lord. Thanks for helping us see that!

    1. Hi Precious Daughter,
      Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to respond to my blog. I can relate to your desire to pass along helpful hints to others. I know the uncertainty of wondering if anyone noticed or tried to respond. And like you, I struggle to keep focusing on the eternal and not let the earthly get in the way. So often I allow the immediate to crowd out the important, especially when it comes to family. Bless you, Love, Dad.

  2. As I read your blog I think back on things I thought were important but as I am older those things didn’t matter at all. I want to walk in God’s ways and spend more time with my grandchildren and teach them what is important. After all we came with nothing and will leave with nothing. Serving God is my focus. Thank you Chuck and many blessings to you and your family.

    1. Hi Tina,
      It is so good to hear from you. You and yours will always hold a special place in our hearts. And, I, too, remember so many times and ways that I spent so much effort on things that will not last. I remember one time, while working on a men’s retreat set of lessons, that I barely noticed Ben jumping up and down in front of me waving his arms and trying to get my attention. NOT GOOD! I think I’ll take Erma Bombeck’s advice and ‘…sit on park benches more, talk more to your loved ones and eat a few more ice cream cones’. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read and respond, Tina. It means a lot. Jude 1:2

    1. Good morning, Cindy,
      I feel so badly for your family who share grief with you today. Questions abound…answers evade…but God is still our ‘shelter in the time of storm’. We are praying for you and yours as you walk ‘through the valley of the shadow’…Blessings, Chuck
      P.S.: Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. It means a lot!

  3. Hey Pastor Chuck,
    I am reading this post almost 5 months after you posted it. It is almost Christmas and I am thinking about how pathetic some of the time wasters we have come to call Christmas traditions are. We jam this time of year so full of events, programs, shopping, wrapping, decorating, running up credit cards and other frivolous time wasters. I was just asking Sam (14 year old son) what we should get our elderly neighbor for Christmas. He said all she needs is time. I thought he meant longer life as she is in poor health. No, Sam meant time spent with the neighbor, companionship. I guess I know what I will be giving the neighbor. The gift of my time. That is profound. The relationships with those who need our companionship.

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