2018-05-30 - Kingdom
A couple of days ago, our dog, Melody, began growling as she was looking out the side window. When I see her laying down at the sill of this portal view of her kingdom, I wonder what she is thinking. She is usually quite hushed as she gazes, so when does chat, from past experiences, I have been keeping track of her intensity and body language, to interpret what has come into her line of sight. This response was as if it were unknown on some level, so I went over to investigate. At first, it looked like a young bird that perhaps landed hard on the lawn for some reason, and was furiously attempting to get its wings in sequence for liftoff. I kept watching, and then noticed there were two beaks, so I became intrigued. After a couple minutes, it was clear that two starlings were pecking at each other, with feet linked together in an aggressive manner I have never seen this behavior, and then in my mind, I likened it to a couple toddlers fighting over a toy or something. I was intrigued to learn that what I witnessed was them fighting over a nesting site, with them very likely to do so near one another(www.sialis.org/starlingbio.htm ). They will sometimes flight to the death, if they feel their kingdom is encroached upon, and are set on keeping the same spot as they used last season. It should not be so surprising - and while on the surface it could even be thought of as ridiculous - reserving judgement on the starlings is extremely wise
How different are we than the birds of the air, when it comes to territorial behavior? Sure, God chose man to lead and take care of what he created, yet fighting over a spot to have for our own is just as common as with the nesting birds. And it would be nice to be able to claim that we would not pelt each other to death so we can have a specific belonging, yet I am quite sure thinking we are above doing so is not as realistic as we would like to believe. I have not fought to the death (or at the very least, creating property damage) over a Christmas toy for a kid, but the rendition of the idea in the movie Jingle All the Way (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rita Wilson and Sinbad,1996) seems completely believable to me. Just as likely is someone wanting a stolen parking spot so much that they borrow a huge forklift to pick up a car and move it off the space, tossing it to the ground, as found in Madea Goes to Jail (Tyler Perry, 2009) At least, in part, the idea in the movies is to exaggerate situations and help us connect in a positive way to our frustration, making light of it, so we can then move on. Ineffectually managing our frustrations can end up looking something like the two starlings in foot fisticuffs, rolling around the yard while pecking at each other’s heads - which truly not what I believe God envisioned, with us caring for his earthly kingdom. We are not expected to be doormats for people, and of course breaking civil law displeases God as well, yet a balanced approach in having and sharing the provision he provided is best. Birds are behaving on an instinctual level and not acting on their feelings. Sometimes we can learn a lot from our feathered friends, and other times we need to see them and be remember that being right or getting what we want immediately is not worth taking a life or losing our own. Sometimes it means setting our minds on things beyond, now knowing God will take care of us. The true Kingdom is yet to come.
“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.” (Psalm 145:13 NIV)
All scripture references are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.