I heard the birds this morning.
Last night I slept w/ the window open & I woke up around 5 am, just laying there praying & the birds were chirping in their usual pre-dawn ritual. As I laid there I was reminded of just a few months earlier: we had a brutal & long Winter, it was cold & one particular morning I got up early to shovel; in fact it was around the same time: 5 am. The wind was blowing & as I was shoveling I kept pausing between the gusts. Yep, I heard right: there were birds chirping.
Most birds go south for the Winter but here in Michigan we have a species of birds that remain here all year long; how they survive is a mystery to me but God takes care of them somehow.
I thought about that Winter moment this morning as I lay in my warm bed, the cool air massaging the room. I thought about how those birds use the voice that God gave them, it doesn't matter if it's warm weather, cold weather, good weather or bad, they use their voice.
Just this week in one of my walks I heard some geese flying overhead, honking their way north.. I also heard some seagulls in the distance & yesterday, I saw a pair of turtledoves & they were cooing to each other. A myriad of voices, all being heard...
It's just a natural thing for creatures to use their voice yet for many people, they're afraid to. Many are afraid to speak up, to say anything, to use the voice that God gave them. For some it's a fear issue, for others it's a confidence issue:
- What if someone doesn't like what I said?
- What if someone is offended?
- What if someone challenges me?
- What if I can't answer or debate them?
- What if I stutter or my mind goes blank?
We're all different & wired differently. I personally know some musicians who have no problem playing in front of 5 thousand people but freeze up in a coffeehouse setting… there are people who can really open up in a small group but can't speak in front of the congregation… there are those that that can't articulate on the fly but can post beautifully loquacious & coherent blogs… there are those that refuse to engage in political discourse but silently speak w/ their vote at the polls…
Your vote is your voice, if you don't vote you're letting someone else speak for you.
Sometimes it's comparison that cripples a voice. I knew of a singer on my worship team several years ago that struggled w/ comparison; she didn't sing like another woman on the team & that bothered her, it crippled her voice & I told her, “Use the voice that God gave you. God gave her a certain voice & God gave you a different voice, she's using hers, use yours. So you don't sing like her, sing like you.”
In my lifetime I've run into the same thing w/ other guitarists & guitar students; they try to play like famous guitarists & I tell them, “Are you them? No? Then don't try to play like them, develop your own style, your own sound & you'll be in a world of happy.” For many musicians, their instrument is their voice.
I Corinthians 15: 39-41
“Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.”
I don't tell people how to vote.
I don't tell people what to preach.
I don't tell people how to minister.
I don't tell people what to say.
I do encourage them to somehow find an expression for the voice that God gave them & like the birds in the dead of Winter or in the dawn of Spring use that voice in the good times, in the bad times, in every situation.