Tufted Titmouse


Thoughts on nature and the Christian faith  -  3/11/19

"I have stored up your word in my heart,

that I might not sin against you."  -  Ps. 119:11

A small white bird sitting on a branch

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This is a tufted titmouse, a small bird commonly found in the eastern United States. Its unusual name comes from the Old English words for small (tit) and for bird (mase). So titmase was changed over time to titmouse. The tufted part refers to the tuft of feathers on its head that are raised when the bird is agitated. The tufted titmouse is a hoarder. They constantly are searching for seeds or small insects to take back to their nests in the cavities of dead trees to store for consumption later. This little fellow was using his beak like a snow plow to see if he could find anything edible hiding under the snow. You just never know when you will need later what you find today. It occurs to me that in this respect we are like these small birds. We store up things constantly that we will later, often unconsciously, feed upon. And what we feed on will determine what kind of person we will turn out to be. I think of this when I consider the content of the media I ingest hour after hour throughout my week. The old expression "garbage in, garbage out" applies. But what we store up for later use can be good also. We are admonished to store up the word of God in our hearts. Scripture reading, much less scripture memorization, is sadly lacking today even among Christians. Take time to commit favorite scriptures to memory. You will find they often come back to help you in a time of need. I find that after I take the time to memorize something, I can then feed on it later and glean deeper and deeper understandings of it. I remember a dear departed mentor of mine telling me to memorize II Cor. 5:21 and then to dwell on each word until I had plumbed its deepest meaning. That bit of advice has served me well over and over as I have matured in my faith. What I have stored up in my heart always returns when I need it, and shapes me in ways I had never considered before. You have a storehouse. Be selective about what you put in it.  -  John