Thursday, April 12, 2007

Is God Messing With Your Nest?

Some of the most profound lessons I’ve learned have come from observing nature. Just as there are seasons in a year, there are also seasons in life, each with its own hardships and hopes. And each season requires changes in thoughts and habits.

Last year I suffered “fall” emotions in the middle of spring. All my efforts to sell our house had failed. Just like dead leaves, they fell flat. My life resembled a windup toy that would cross the room, hit the wall, and then turn to run into another. I did everything I knew to make our house more appealing to perspective buyers. We even had some very promising prospects only for it to come to nothing.

After another unsuccessful home showing I needed to breathe some fresh air, listen to the voices of nature, and calm my spirit. So I brewed a cup of English Breakfast tea with lots of cream and sugar and went to my rocking chair on the back porch. Daffodils perfumed the breeze, birds sang their mating tunes, and little by little my body relaxed.

Out of nowhere a sudden flutter startled me. Two tiny finches were flitting around my barbeque grill. The male disappeared under the grill, rousing my curiosity. Soon he reappeared and the two flew off. I went to the grill and looked underneath. The only thing I saw was the tiny air hole that regulates the flame. I went back to the glider and watched. The two returned and perched in my fern, then hopped on the grill. They seemed to be discussing something very important.

Days later, I opened the grill to cook supper and saw the beginning of a nest. Ahhh, so that’s what they were up to. House hunting. In many ways the grill was a good choice. It had a tiny opening so a cat or preditor bird couldn’t get them and it was covered, keeping the nest dry. However, it also held a danger the little birds couldn’t understand.

I scooped out the bits of nest and placed them in the fern hoping they would finish it there. The next day the scraps of nest in the fern were left untouched, but in the grill was another partial nest. The birds, undaunted, felt secure in their choice. Again, I scooped out their nest, and then plugged the hole with duct tape.

Mr. and Mrs. Finch were all a-twitter when they came back. Once again something had swept away their nest and this time plugged up their door. They flitted and fussed, then finally wove their nest in the fern. Hidden under the fronds, Momma Finch seemed content even though it wasn’t her first choice. I stole a peek and said, “If only you knew the danger of your first choice, little one.”

These words reverberated in my mind. Wasn’t that the source of my current frustration? My nest was consistently destroyed and the doors of opportunity seemed to be duct taped shut? Maybe we were supposed to stay in this house. For some reason, unknown to me, it wasn’t the right time to buy and sell.

I decided to follow the example of the finches and made our home attractive and comfortable for my family rather than realtors. I settled in my nest, contented. Several months later, our house did sell and we built a new one. When closing for the new house my husband and I were surprised to learn the interest rate had dropped to an all time low. If we had sold our house right after putting it on the market, our interest would have been several points higher.

Coincidence? I don’t think so.