Our resident robin has been attacking our windows for the last week. Evidently, it’s defending its territory against rivals; in this case its own reflection. In the spring, both in our current location and in an earlier house we’ve faced warrior robins a number of times.
They sure mess up the windows and the surrounding area, a trait that makes Mary Helen very unhappy. I try to tell her that they are only doing what comes naturally, but she’s not pacified. She wants me to invent some kind of gadget to shoo them away from our windows.
I haven’t done any scientific study, but I’d guess we get the same pair back every year. You’d think they would get to know us and become friendly like the chickadees. But no, as soon as they nest, they scold us unmercifully whenever we go outside. And they often build their mud and straw castles in the most inconvenient places. One year it was on top of the ladder we had hung on the side of our house. Another year it was on the garage door opener. We’d got in the habit of leaving the garage door open during the day. Not very thoughtful of the robins. A year ago, they built their abode on one of the supports of our deck. Can you imagine the scolding we got when we tried to enjoy the fresh air?
Oh, I know robins are innocent of any malice. They’re just acting out their robin-nature which makes me wonder about all the talk about getting back to nature. If we happen to be human beings we don’t want to give in to that temptation. If we do, the result will be insults and anger and aggression and wars and sleeping around and eating until we’re stuffed and a whole lot of other junk. Stuff that our culture may tell us is quite natural. You get the idea.
Counter intuitively, Jesus expects His followers to act contrary to their old nature. After all, one of the main purposes of redemption is to deliver us progressively from our fallen nature. That means being meek like the Master instead of aggressive and pushy. And tough as it sounds, Jesus taught us; Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:39) Wow, that’s hard.
Paul exhorts us to follow the same New Covenant principle. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends… (Romans 12:17-19)
Like the robins, we might find it easier to give in to our nature, but God expects a much higher standard from His children. ©