"At daybreak Jesus left the town and went off to a lonely place. The people started looking for him, and when they found him, they tried to keep him from leaving. But he said to them, 'I must preach the Good News about the Kingdom of God in other towns also, because that is what God sent me to do.'" (Luke 4:42-43)
A youth from our church showed me the nest in a bush by the corner of the building. Mama robin had tucked the nest just inside the branches, but pretty much at eye level, making for some very amazing bird watching. By the time I took this picture the three little birds were not quite so little and looked pretty uncomfortable all squished together.
Let's face it leaving the nest is difficult. As a matter of fact, most transitions are difficult, be they a graduation, new birth, divorce, death, move to a new location, or promotion. Even the ones that include joy, anticipation, and excitement can also include more difficult feelings like anxiety, fear of the unknown, and sadness. Whoever said, "A bird in the hand is worth two (or three) in the bush," knew what they were saying. It can be very difficult to leave that nest of familiarity and fly into the future of possibilities. When we're faced with transitions we often focus on the negatives or dangers of leaving and stepping into the unknown. What about the negatives and dangers of staying? Take another look at those three little guys in the photo. If they stay much longer they'll literally suffocate one another.
In the Gospel of Luke we hear a story of how villagers were so taken by Jesus and his work among them that they tried to keep him from leaving. Jesus could have stayed in the comfort of the villagers' adoration. Instead, he left because he knew that staying would mean the danger of his purpose on earth not being fulfilled. "I must preach the Good News about the Kingdom of God in other towns also, because that is what God sent me to do," Jesus said. The temptation to stay was great, but the need to go was greater. We know from the rest of the Gospels that Jesus faced many transitions in the ensuing months. We also know that he was able to stay "on the move" because he felt the presence of God with him. That's the promise for us as well.
Leaving or moving on is difficult. The comfort of the nest and/or the awkward, painful, ominous feelings of change can sometimes convince us to stay when we should be leaving or moving on. Listen for God's Spirit working within you, giving courage for first, faltering new steps and strength for the journey. I pray that God will help me have the patience and grace to stay and courage to move when called in either direction. How about you?
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia
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