Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)
This photo is for Danielle, Sophie and FC whose beautiful bird photos inspire me. I think about their work every time I follow the bay shore towards my house. We are blessed to be live on an island that is a bird sanctuary. Our bay is a protected waterway. I will confess that these beautiful scenes are so common place that it would become easy to get used to them and in fact, not even notice them. But, when I drive over the bridge onto our island, I try to turn off all the whirling thoughts of my busy day and open my eyes to the beauty around me. At low tide, I can see hundreds of birds feeding in the muddy shallow waters of our bay. The roseate spoonbills especially love our bay front. Their spoon shaped beaks are not only unique, but make a good utensil for fishing. They swish it through the water to find small fish and crustaceans like shrimp. Some scientists believe that the pink colors of their feathers come from their diet. When they are done eating, the birds often rest on the mangroves that line the bay. This particular limb usually holds a half dozen to a dozen birds and almost always includes a roseate spoonbill or two in the mix. When I saw this group in their places tonight, I decided to capture the moment. I drove home, grabbed the camera and walked back to the end of the road. My camera is not as fancy as some, and I had to zoom way in to get these shots, but hopefully, I have captured some of the beauty of our island. When I first arrived on the scene, there were more birds on the limb, but my arrival disrupted the solitude. Several flew away, but the lone spoonbill and some white feathered friends, the egrets, posed and preened for my camera. I love the contrast of the bright pink against the white. The spoonbill’s striking color made me think of these verses. Here we are told not to be like everyone around us. When we are kind when others are harsh, when we are loving when others hate, when we speak peace instead of anger, our differences make us stand out and attract others to Jesus Christ whom we serve. They want to know more about why we are distinct and Who makes us that way. But, to stand out, to be a non conformist, I need to let God renew my mind so that I am open to following His Will for me in obedience. Just as I let the cares of my day drain away when I head towards my island home, I can fill my mind with the truth of Who God is and what He plans for me. The same One who created the spoonbill and the tiny crustaceans that turn its feathers pink, also created me, and both of us have the same purpose, to glorify God.