Thursday, May 11, 2017
The Robin's Song by Ruth Smith Meyer
I like sleeping with my window open, but a few mornings ago, I got more than the fresh air I had anticipated. It’s astonishing what unexpected revelations an open window can bring. The sky was still almost dark when a robin began singing close by.
Immediately my mind went back to my childhood and I remembered my mom reading a story about a little boy whose mother had asked him to do his usual morning chores.
“Why do I always have to make my bed and help with the breakfast dishes?” Teddy grumbled. “I wish I were a robin! All they have to do is fly around and sit on a branch and sing. Yes, I wish I were a robin.”
His mother heard his mumbling but said nothing.
The next morning, just as the sky was turning from dark to gray, mom shook Teddy’s shoulder. “Wake up Teddy! Today you are going to see what it’s like to be a robin.”
“Wha-a-at?” Teddy asked as he rubbed his eyes. “It’s still dark!”
“Yes, but the sun will be up soon and the robin is already singing. Do you hear him? Come, get up and get dressed. For the next hour, you can sit on the porch and sing along with the robin.”
Mom wasn’t going to take No for an answer.
If Teddy’s singing stopped for more than a few minutes, Mom would gently remind him to keep singing. Finally, when the robin’s songs slowed down, Teddy’s mother brought him a small garden fork. “It’s time to look for your breakfast now,” she told him.
“Look for my breakfast? What do you mean?”
“See the robin? He’s hopping around, listening for worms and then digging for them. Your breakfast is in the vegetable garden. You won’t be able to use your ears, but your eyes will show you where to look.”
Teddy couldn’t believe his mom would do this to him, but he was hungry, so he went to the garden and began to dig. He dug and dug before finally finding a jar.
“Yay! I found my breakfast!” he thought. But when he finished digging it out, there were only a few bites of toast in it.
“Mom!” he called, “There was hardly anything in the jar!
“Oh there are more jars,” his mother assured him. “Keep digging. That’s what the robin does. He needs a lot of worms in a day to get all the food he needs.”
After a while, Teddy noticed fresh dirt throughout the garden and that’s where the jars were. But each time, there were only a few small bites. After a while, his mother brought a pail of water and a little dipper so he would have something to drink, but soon the sun was hot and Teddy got tired and sweaty, but he still was hungry. His tummy still rumbled wanting more food. Dragging his feet, he shuffled to the kitchen door.
“Mom, I don’t think I want to be a robin any more. Their lives aren’t as easy as I thought. Making my bed and helping with the dishes might not be so bad after all.”
As my mind reviewed that story, God whispered to my heart.
“When you look at other people’s lives and think they have it so much better than you do, you don’t understand any more than Teddy understood a robin’s existence.
My plan for your life is just as special as those you envy. I will give you the strength, the ability, the wisdom to meet each day and I will be with you always. Take your eyes off of those couples who are still enjoying life together. Forget those who have kept a youthful figure into old age. Stop envying couples who are travelling to the sunny south, or those who have been gifted with immaculate house-keeping skills and all those who cause you to be jealous or resentful. Be joyful for what I have given you, the opportunities that are yours and the many ways your family and friends bless your life.”
The sun was peeping over the horizon. I rose from my bed, breathed in the fresh air from window and joined the robin in singing a song of thanksgiving.
Ruth Smith Meyer keeps learning about life and God's ways. She is part of the newly released book Good Grief People where she shares learning from her walk through grief. You can visit her at www.ruthsmithmeyer.com
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