Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gonna Lay My Birdies Down

In the last post, I showed photos from the baptism outside the church. The four girls took the lead, dressed in white robes, ready to baptised and singing "I'm gonna lay down my burdens, down by the riverside." They had spent the earlier part of the week pondering the mystery of the waters of baptism, of how Christians are raised to new life in Christ. We had journeyed together through theological concepts of sin and grace. Each of these girls came to the water that morning aware of their own burdens which would be brought to the grace of the moment.
After the baptism, I was driving home with my three year old daughter who began singing the song she heard at church -"I'm gonna lay down my burdens, down by the riverside." Except that she has misunderstood the words of the song and was singing "I'm gonna lay down my birdies.
Hearing this made me smile as I pictured what it would be like to have a sack of birdies and try to get them all to lay down. That would be next to impossible. It made me laugh to picture attempting this while the birds flap wildly, feathers flying. This humorous picture lingered with me for days.
Then one morning, it occured to me that as silly as it seems, sometimes laying a burden before God can be a bit like laying down "birdies." Sometimes we lay a concern before the Lord and rather than find peace, our concern just flaps more fervently, refusing to be tamed.
As difficult as it can be, our spiritual lives are dependant upon our daily faithful insistence that "those birdies" lay down.
If you find your burdens are more like Julianna's birdies, untamable, don't be discouraged. Keep at it and eventually the restless bird-ens will find rest in God.

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