R E F L E C T I O N S
Thoughts on nature and the Christian faith - 6/6/22
"You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you."
- II Chron. 12:5
This is a brown-headed cowbird, so named because they are often seen on the ground near cows feeding on insects that the cattle stir up. A member of the blackbird family, this is a strikingly beautiful bird in my opinion. Its reputation, however, is not so pleasing. The females often place their eggs in the nests of other birds and then abandon them, leaving their care and upbringing to another bird that may or may not accept them. And, to make it worse, the cowbird eggs often hatch before the legitimate eggs do resulting in the young cowbirds getting the most food to the detriment of the later-hatching birds. The cowbird mother, on the other hand, leaves the child-rearing to strangers. Very few mothers in the animal kingdom will purposely abandon their children, but the cowbirds are an exception. Sometimes human mothers will do the same without meaning to. Whenever we leave our child-rearing responsibilities primarily to the schools, or to the media, or to the church, or to the whims of culture we have in effect abandoned our children to the care and influence of others. I have been guilty of this with my own children. I wish I could go back and realign my priorities. But I can't. Abandoning one's children, however often or seldom we do it, is terrible. But abandoning the Lord is worse by far. The Lord is patient and long-suffering with our sinfulness, but he will not tolerate being abandoned forever. If we abandon him, he will eventually abandon us. And that is a frightening thing to contemplate. What could be more inexcusable than for a creature to abandon his or her Creator? Nothing that I can imagine. The cowbird is not an example we should follow. - John