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Dissatisfied Robin

by Danielle Gerber
Thump . . . thump . . . thump.

Like an alarm clock, the rhythmic thud roused me in the early morning. What could it be? As I rubbed my eyes, I remembered: that stubborn robin was at it again!

Springtime had brought the flowers and songbirds back—and among them a certain strong-willed robin. He had been perching outside my window on the edge of the grapevines growing up the fence, watching for rival robins. Catching a reflection of himself in my window, the robin flew toward it and rammed into the glass over and over again. Of course, no matter how hard he tried, he never could get that other bird to go away.

As the robin continued to bang into the window, I sighed. It must hurt his beak and breast to keep striking the glass so hard. Why did he try to fight with himself? Why couldn’t he understand that the bird in the window was his own reflection? Didn’t he have more important things to do?

 In years past, we had tried to get the bird to stop this noisy nonsense. Actually, the robin used to sit outside my parents’ bedroom window and wake them up in the morning; but when my father put some potato sacks in front of their window, the robin moved to mine. After that, we never could seem to get him to stop. Even when I opened the window, he would leave only for as long as I could stand to let the cool air rush in. As soon as I shut the window, the robin came right back.

As I thought about that silly robin—and worried about him hurting himself—I wondered what the Lord could teach me through this persistent bird. Then it came to me. This bird, so displeased with his reflection in my window, reminded me of how we can look in the mirror and feel unhappy with our faces and bodies. We want to be thinner or taller, or perhaps have a different type or color of hair. We wonder if we will be more popular if we put on some makeup or wear a different style of clothing. The list goes on. We can really beat ourselves over our appearance—just like the bird!

Why are we so often unhappy with the way God made us? Are we just trying to fit in with the crowd? Do we fear that people won’t like the real person inside? Are we so enamored with this world’s celebrities that we want to look just like them? Are we playing futile games of comparison with others, and trying to end up on top?

Whatever the reason, the Lord counsels us, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, . . . or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Peter 3:3, 4).

Instead of looking in the mirror and then beating ourselves up like that dissatisfied robin, let’s focus on what God thinks of us. If we stop stressing over ways to change our appearance and start looking to Jesus, who can change the inside, we will gain true beauty. He promises, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you” (Ezekiel 36:26). And the heart and spirit He offers are as beautiful as Jesus Himself!

Danielle Gerber, from Nebraska, is a Junior Sabbath School teacher and college student pursuing a degree in business. She enjoys finding object lessons from everyday life and sharing the blessing through writing.

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