Welcome, friends, for today's edition of Break the Tape. Essentially, our goal is to identify the lies that repeat themselves over and over again in our minds, break the tape that automatically begins plays when ever we feel we've fallen short, and learn a new song to sing in its place.
They do not even wait until I leave anymore. As soon as I reach the feeder with my old rusty coffee can, they come--perch in tree and bush, hover above my head--and wait. They watch as I fill the transparent tubes, scatter seed on ground for the thrush and occasional rabbit.
Sometimes they sing.
This morning, as I kneel over the can of seed, a song sparrow lights on the leggy forsythia bush. It is raining but I don’t care as I stop what I am doing and gaze up at his prehistoric form. He cocks his head to one side, as if to say, “On with it, lady!”
I smile and finish the task at hand, barely stepping away before he flits down onto the fragile sill of the seed trough.
I study him, fast at work, and remember my morning reading.
“Are you waiting for me to be revealed?” I muse. A strange, tingly feeling possesses me and it is my turn to wait.
When will this glory come? Mr. Sparrow is oblivious to my plight and if there is some secret knowledge in his heart of when the sons of God will be liberated from their state of decay, he isn’t sharing.
He is too busy being cute.
Turning away, I savor the simple joy in my heart.
Back inside, I sit at the kitchen table and watch the others come, joining my lone sparrow for feasting. And I ponder the Words.
Sitting there, with rain softly pattering against window and birdsong lifting me, I realize there is nothing I want more. To be shed of burdensome desires, to carry only luminosity…to see with the eye of eternity…
Surly this is glorious.
Suddenly, it occurs to me that I would be so much happier if I did not have this dream in my heart. Suddenly, it feels very easy to let go.
The weight that lifts is tremendous and I wonder why God puts these dreams in our hearts, anyway. I know it is a foolish thing to ponder. I know the answer. Well, part of it anyway.
The dreams themselves are beautiful. They give me yearning, longing, desire to seek. A metaphor for the Bigger Dream. But when I lose sight of this, when I hold the smaller dream in tightly clutched fists…this is when the yearning turns to sorrow.
Separating the two--sorting and sifting--this is the real work.
Why is it so easy to get lost? I ask it with an earnest heart. It is not my desire to put anything before Him.
And He reminds me of the birds. How they wait for me to fill the feeder. Trusting in my hand.
He is asking me to trust Him.
Do I dare? I have before, with mixed results. Is my faith so fragile as to crumble with the smaller dream? Do I not still have the Bigger?
Does any of this matter anyway?
I know it does, and yet it doesn’t. Immediately before the verses I have been pondering, Paul says, I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
It does, and yet it doesn’t. These heartbreaks, these daily hassles…they matter. But they don’t matter the most.
So I am sifting. To keep my thoughts focused on the higher things...This is the way to break the tape—the one that says I’m not enough. The one that says I do not matter unless the dream is realized.
I know what I wait for. It doesn’t mean these other things do not matter. They just need not matter as much.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage of decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Rom. 8:19-21)
Hungry for more of Laura's writing? You can find her here at The Wellspring.