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IN THE CARPENTER’S WORKSHOP: The woodpecker pecks

Each morning at 6 a.m., a tiny red-headed woodpecker arrives in our front yard.  How do I know?  Because he starts pecking on the house as soon as he gets there.

Rat a tatt tatt tatt!  Again and again he drills for worms and insects, as his ancestors have done for millions of years.

Why our house?  Perhaps so we could have this conversation.

God created all things, right?  People, insects, trees and woodpeckers.

Well, first of all, the woodpecker is not going to have success at our house.  All he does is wake us up. You see, the parts of the house that are not brick are covered with aluminum to make it weatherproof, and, now we know, woodpecker proof.

Just like the woodpecker, we sometimes peck in places where good results are not going to be at the end of our bill.  We beat our heads against the wall of impossibility and get ourselves all upset, when we really should move on to greener pastures, or pecking grounds, so to speak.

In the business world, it’s call re-framing.  We look at the same situation a different way, and things get better immediately.

For instance, there is a huge tree with millions of  holes this woodpecker’s parents and grandparents have already begun.  If holes are what he seeks, there they are.  All he has to do is turn around.

So turn around, my pecking friends.  Readjust the pecking order of your worries.  There is much out there to do if we but find the place which needs our pecks.

When we make that simple adjustment, loads of bugs--spiritual food galore--and friends who peck alongside us are right beside us.  We find our purpose in life and accomplish it in the right place, not banging our beaks against impenetrable walls.

In fact, when we follow the head bird, Jesus himself, we will find ourselves among flocks of birds of all colors and shapes and sizes, all looking for the same food.  There is an inexhaustible supply which God supplies as the holy scriptures, the food of the Christian.  In it we find Jesus, the bread of life, who shows us our focus as heaven-bound birds.

There is another problem this particular woodpecker has.  (Let’s call him Woody for short.)  You see, a mockingbird obviously has a nest nearby.  As soon as Woody begins to peck the wall or the aforementioned tree, the mockingbird flies at him with fury and determination until he has to fly away.

So, with a wall which he only beats his head against, and a tree, which is unfriendly territory, you would think he would find greener pastures.  But day after day he comes back, and we have the same exact dance.

God wants his church to see the future, not to get caught up in the trap of doing things again and again, never knowing the wonder and fruitfulness of what he can make possible.

Launching our wings into new territories of faith, trying a little singing or flying instead of pecking away at the unpeckable, will help us discover that we are not the only bird in the tree, and that it takes a little flexibility and vision to find God’s joy and purpose.

Perhaps we are in the hospital having our wings or bills adjusted.  Maybe we are at our job and haven’t seen the tree for the walls, or the forest for the trees, or just don’t see our purpose for living at all.

Our purpose is to do the thing God has created us to do in the right places, at the right times, with the right people, with the right God.

There is an old story about the red-headed woodpecker:

Once there was an old woman who wore a shiny black dress, a white apron and a red hat.  A kind old man stopped to ask her for food

She went through the process of baking, but finally decided that all her baking was too good for the man.  He disappeared, but then she changed her mind.

She wished that she could become a bird, so she could take him some food.  So she became tiny and was a bird.  She is the red-headed woodpecker, still wearing her shiny black dress, her white apron and bright red bonnet.

We have the chance to find our purpose and become a part of God’s holy flock.  We can be transformed from a selfish person with no vision, to a person who sees far and clear and wide as God gives us his vision.

There will be mockingbirds along the way.  Some will attempt to drive us away from senseless pecking in the wrong places.  Others will mock us for pecking in the right places.  But peck for God we must.

Jesus said our heavenly Father loves and cares for all those little and big birds.  And he cares so much more for us. 

Just do it after 6 in the morning, please!