I don’t know about you but my life seems chaotic. Work, kids, church, school, commute, activities; it seems as though I wake up each morning and run a marathon for that day, crash in my bed then start it all over the next day. I feel I am always in a constant state of catching up. I yearn for a rare Saturday with a clear schedule and nothing to do but “be” and enjoy the company of our family.
Sometimes I feel as though I am doing nothing well. I reflect on my busyness and wonder what I have really accomplished other than surviving each day. Furthermore, I ask myself, “Could I be doing this better, if I give this or that up?” Yet, perhaps but by God’s grace, in my retrospection, there are so many wonderful things that happen despite the messiness.
Though now I am a mission’s director at a church, I received a bachelor’s degree of science in biology. One of my favorite classes in my academic career was an ornithology class. Our lab was simply to observe birds in their natural habitat, identify them and to journal on their behaviors. Despite predawn class gatherings, which no college student wants to endure, it was the most memorable and fascinating course. My professor, Dr. Fisher was a wacky, near retirement age, self-proclaimed “king fisher” and a lover of birds. He once almost ran off the road because he spotted a red-tailed hawk in route to a nearby park. Thankfully, I was following behind in the college van.
In one our class observations, my lab partner and I sat near a bluebird box and watched the activity. Busily, a bluebird flew into the box through the tiny hole bringing waded up hair twigs and grass, would stay inside for a short time, then would fly away to return with more building materials. This went on for a long time. As activity ceased, my lab partner and I lifted the latch on the bird box to observe a neatly twisted, perfect nest prepared to protect the precious eggs of the bluebird.
In my position as mission’s director, I’ve had the privilege of traveling to Haiti to be in ministry with my brothers and sisters of this beautiful yet challenged land. On a recent trip, I learned a Haitian proverb I keep close in my thoughts. “Little by little the bird builds its nest.”
God takes the seeming twisted up chaos of my life and is able to make something orderly, comforting and safe for me and my family. Little by little, keep going.
Brian Mateer is the Missions Director for a UMC in North Carolina, where he and his wife raise their beautiful girls. Brian is the salt of the Earth dedicating his life to serving those around him. He is also a Carolina Panthers fan… (the beards offer their prayers). In Brian’s free time he likes long walks on the beach and makes jewelry out of the beach treasures he finds.