by Ben Kinchlow
I am sitting outside Starbuck?s having a cup of hot tea. It?s one
of those days that everybody who lives in a tourist attraction area wants
you to believe happens everyday. They don?t, but they want you to
believe they do. It just so happens that today really is that nice.
My tea is exactly the right temperature, and there?s this soft breeze
blowing, to keep it from being too hot sitting here in the sunshine. You
know the kind of day I?m talking about?. the kind of day that
sometimes intrudes on your busy schedule. While most of us are too busy to
recognize, and pause to appreciate, these days, every now and then one of
those "weird people" says to us, "Isn?t this a beautiful
day?!" Of course, courtesy forces us to respond politely, and then we
notice, "Hey, it really is nice today!"
I wonder how many other things beside "nice days" escape us,
unnoticed in our mad dash to "somewhere". Most of us aren?t
really sure exactly where we are going, but we know if don?t hurry, we
are going to be late. We?re in such a rush, that we often don?t notice
the blue of the sky, white puffy clouds, soft sunshine, the trees turning
green (like they are now), flowers starting to bloom, etc., etc., ad
infinitum. We hear people talk about stopping to smell the roses, but are
they talking to us? And who cares what a rose really smells like,
anyway? Why would I want to stop to smell a rose? Much more in tune with
my stressful, eventful, challenged life would be something like,
"Hey, wake up and smell the coffee!" Now that makes sense.
Coffee to get your heart pumping, your adrenalin up, and your eyes open,
and get you charging ahead into the day! But to stop and smell a rose?!
(or any other flower, for that matter). Who needs it?
So I?m sitting here feeling the sunshine on my face and the breeze on
my skin. I?m listening to the muted sounds of traffic, sipping on my
tea. God is in His heaven, and all?s right with the world. "What a
great day to be alive! Thank you, Lord, for? for?.. for?."
?.h-h-m-m-m?. where to start? Do I selfishly thank Him for
provision?my family?. health for my children?. my grandchildren?
for most everyone I know? That none of my family is in dire straits? That
I live in America at this point in time? That I know Jesus Christ
personally? What to do? What to do?
A sudden movement intrudes on my reverie. It?s not traffic. It?s
not a pedestrian. A sound grabs my attention. It?s not a horn, a boom
box, a siren, or even conversation. It is a sound of utter joy? "?Joy
unspeakable and full of glory!" A sound that can only come
from a heart that is pure, a conscience untainted, and a voice created for
I look for the source of this chorus of worship, and I spot it.
Directly in front of me, about sixty feet away, in a just-blooming dogwood
tree, is a bird. But not just any bird. ?a mockingbird. This
mockingbird is singing with all his might about the glory of this day and
being alive. He?s so enthusiastic that he just can?t sit still. He
flies up, he darts from limb to limb, he flies to a lamppost. He flies
back to the tree. He goes from the bottom branch to the very top, and
then, after he?s serenaded everyone within the sound of his voice, he
flies away to take his message of unrestrained joy to another place,
singing all the while.
I sit for a moment, listening to his song fade into the distance. A
horn blows, traffic moves, conversation begins. It?s time to go back to
the real world.
Or was I just in the real world? H-h-m-m-m-m.