I sat at the water’s edge, completely overtaken by the sound of the waves as children played nearby. As I laid my head down to rest, I pondered the stillness in the air ahead of the storm to my north. Wave upon wave lapped at the shore, all coming in at different angles, unsure of which way to go it seemed. The sound of moving water threatened to lull me to sleep. I opened my tired eyes to a sight I had never before seen, more than 30 seagulls at various stages of development, young and old alike, lined up down the beach directly ahead of me, all pointing the same direction…into the wind at the water’s edge, still as statues. I sat up, mesmerized by what I was seeing and the Lord began to speak and I became attentive as I stared at those that were staring toward the wind.
One could easily tell the juvenile chicks from the adults at first glance. These chicks, only weeks before, were testing their wings a bit further down the beach and looked like butterflies floating in the air at their nesting ground. And here they were, learning from the seasoned veterans, the generation before them.
Hebrews 5:12-14 – You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.
As they all stood into the wind, I took notice of several of the adults who were brave enough to get their webbed feet wet and step into the gentle waves to seek out something to eat and get a drink of water. However, it became blatantly obvious that what they were taking in was not the right kind of food. It was not good for consumption because one after the other began to spit pieces of trash out of their mouth and some who had actually swallowed the garbage floating on the surface became ill and had to struggle to get it back up and spit it back onto the ground.. One seagull after another took themselves out of the line facing the wind and went for the shiny object that was not good for their well-being before stepping back into line again. I thanked God right then and there for the daily grace we are offered to be able to step back into line when we mess up. He then reminded me that we, as a society of broken humans, are no longer eating the right kind of food. We have stopped drinking the spiritual milk and eating the all-sustaining bread of life and are more focused on the things that float by and grab our attention which pulls us out of Kingdom rank and file.
What is this teaching those behind us in the generation to follow when we are more consumed by our incessant need for approval behind a computer screen or phone? What about those faithful few who continue to stand in line seeking to clean their feathers on the seemingly uncomfortable winds of change and opportunity that comes, sometimes even ahead of a storm, to make us new?
1 Corinthians 10:1-7 – I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. 2 In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. 3 All of them ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, 7 or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.”
1 Corinthians 10:12-23 – If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 14 So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. 15 You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true.16 When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? 17 And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. 18 Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar? 19 What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance, or that idols are real gods? 20 No, not at all. I am saying that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to participate with demons. 21 You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too. 22 What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is? 23 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.
The question remains…what are YOU eating? What is distracting you from the truth? What is getting YOU out of line? The one thing that moved me the most in this moment of time that seemed to stand still was there was one bird who I watched pick up a piece of garbage and ingest it, what looked like cellophane, and this bird did not get sick and did not step back in line. Why? Because he was accustomed and conditioned to eating TRASH and it no longer affected him. How sad, to die and never know truth and love and heaven because of the condition of your heart which has been fed the wrong kind of food…by YOU.