I got to run yesterday morning!
That sentence might not end with an exclamation mark for all people but for me it does. The past month has been exciting and busy. There have been many miles put on the mini-van. Add VBS and a bout of stomach virus and exercise has taken a back seat. Lacing up my tennis shoes yesterday morning to get a few miles in before my husband left for work was an exciting thing.
I normally run in the afternoon but with the heat of summer coming I’m establishing new habits. The morning was quiet. Not many cars were on the road and the dogs that normally alert the world that I am out were otherwise occupied. I did, however, hear a bird singing in one of the trees lining the street.
Now, there are people who can hear the song of a bird and know exactly what kind it is. I remember reading Little House on the Prarie as a girl and being amazed that Laura knew the songs of each species.
I’m not one of those people.
I’m pretty sure that the bird I heard was a mockingbird, though. Mockingbirds are known for imitating the songs of other birds and even imitating amphibians and insects. If mockingbirds are known for imitating other birds, how would I know that the bird I heard was a mockingbird? I distinctly heard a bird singing the song of a car alarm.
I was running thinking, “That doesn’t sound right! Something is messed up. That’s a bird, but that’s not the song of a bird. That’s not what birds are supposed to sound like!” Birds were made to sing beautiful melodic songs, not alternate between two pitches mechanically. He learned a new song from the world around him. How sad!
So often, though, we are like that confused mockingbird. He has a wonderful ability to sing many different songs but rather than singing the songs it was born to sing, it imitated something not worthy of imitation. Too often, we learn a “new song” from the world around us. Rather than reflecting what God created us to be, we begin reflect the world around us- things not worthy of reflection.
Romans 12:1-2 are two of my favorite verses. They come to mind so often. The second verse stood out in my mind that morning.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed but the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
The mockingbird I heard that morning had conformed to the pattern of the world- the sound of a car alarm of all things! We can so easily conform to the patterns of the world around us, too. We can allow the world to influence the way we view sin, the way we value life, our work ethic,… the list could continue forever! We have to guard against this, though, and intentionally allow our minds to be renewed. This transforms our whole lives.
So please don’t be like the confused mockingbird in my neighbor’s tree. Don’t conform to the world around you. Let Jesus transform your life.