"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching." (John 14:23 NIV)
We had just acquired this particular Lineolated
Parakeet. He was still young, under a year, and he was my favorite
linnie color: Turquoise. He loved to sit on my finger and watch my
mouth, and we hadn’t had him for more than a few weeks when he began to
talk. His first words? “You’re a good boy!”
His name was Splash, and I just knew he would be the perfect mate for my young olive female, Chine. Chine was only about 5 months old at the time, and I figured that the two of them, when they reached mating age, would produce some nice green babies.
Initially the pair kept us in stitches with their antics, but then they began playing different games, games that would have been more suited for mature birds. I immediately became concerned. If they were already playing around at mating, there would be nothing to stop Chine from having eggs. That would be a lot of stress on an immature body!
We tried a variety of things to stop them. We rearranged their cage. We removed the newspaper. We made sure they got at least 12-13 hours of rest under a dark cover every night. And every time we could hear their little “game” starting up, we would go over to their cage and try to distract them. And it worked. For about two weeks. Then Chine laid her first egg. And her second, and her third, and she didn’t stop until she had a full clutch of 6. The only thing we could do was to care for Chine by making sure she had a healthy diet with plenty of Calcium.
Chine sat on those eggs for the next 4 weeks, but in the end, they didn’t hatch. I wasn’t surprised. The parents were too immature for the eggs to be fertile. Chine seemed to be fine however, and I was feeling pretty smug that we had come through unscathed. Surely they had learned their lesson now. Surely we wouldn’t have any more eggs until they were of age!
But barely two weeks had gone when they were back to their play. What could I try that I hadn’t already tried? I heaved a sigh of frustration as I headed over to the cage yet again. Maybe if I reasoned with them . . . I took Splash on my finger, lifted him up so that he could see my face, and began my lecture: “You’re being such a naughty . . .”
That’s as far as I got before Splash himself interrupted me: “You’re a good bird!”
I decided right then and there that there wasn’t much I could do to keep them from the mating ritual! I also decided to teach Splash to say, “I’M a good bird”, because that had clearly been his intent. What he was doing was obviously, from his perspective, perfectly normal. He had no idea that trying to produce babies with such young bodies could be potentially harmful to his mate, nor did he really care. All he cared about was fulfilling his own desires.
Is there any of us who is different? We may not all be struggling with the same kind of sin, but we all struggle with fulfilling our own desires. God gives us rules to live by. He sends His Spirit to help us live by them, and He, with quiet proddings, tries to help us do what is right. Why? Because just like I knew that mating wasn’t good for a bird as young as Chine, God knows what is for our ultimate good. Just as I was trying to protect Chine from harm, God is trying to protect us from harm. But just like Splash didn’t understand that he was doing anything wrong, neither do we; and whenever God chides us for doing what He’s asked us not to do, our response isn’t much different from Splash’s! We usually retort by trying to defend ourselves!
Friends, we have one advantage over Splash: We can reason. The next time God taps you on the shoulder and reminds you that something you are doing or are about to do is against His eternal rules, don’t just stand there and tell him what a good person you are. Listen! Obey! In the long run, it will be much better for you AND those around you!
This wasn’t the end of the Splash and Chine saga. Chine ended up with another clutch of 6 eggs, and again none of them hatched. But this second round seemed to teach the two of them something, and they didn’t have any more eggs until I gave them a nesting box—AFTER their first birthday! They then laid 6 more eggs, three of which hatched into three beautiful babies: One dark green, and two . . . cobalt blues? Wait a minute! This pairing was supposed to only be able to produce dark greens! Where did the blue babies come from???
But that, my friends, is next week’s story!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, author, moderator, The Nugget, Scriptural Nuggets, www.scripturalnuggets.org , Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org .