As predicted, the robins' nest outside my kitchen window continued to provide poignant reminders of life’s priorities. Here are three more.
Number One: Appreciate the brevity of childhood.
A mere two weeks passed between the hatching of the three blue eggs and the nest needing a “Vacancy” sign. Those little guys grew so fast, I could see changes in them between breakfast and lunch time. I was glad I took pictures almost daily.
Thankfully, humans take a little longer. But when the human nest once again reaches the “vacancy” stage, it may feel like only two weeks have passed.
By the time I held my first grandson, I thought I had a handle on how swiftly childhood goes. I was wrong. How is it possible that he starts kindergarten in September? Last time I turned around, I was sending his daddy out the door, book bag in hand.
But if childhood were not so temporary, it would not be so precious. Don’t let it slip by uncelebrated and unphotographed.
Number Two: Don’t let yourself get distracted from your purpose.
A robin’s only real objective is to make more robins. This singularity of purpose carries the bird through its average two-year life span of mating, laying eggs, incubating, feeding, protecting, flight training, migration, and starting all over again. Robins don’t stop to consider whether or not they want to have a family. They don’t seek careers or hobbies. They’re never distracted from their purpose by the latest gadgets, relational conflicts, or politics.
Do you know what your purpose in life is?
In The Purpose Driven Life, author Rick Warren lays out a five-part purpose for life that makes sense to me. I encourage you to pick up a copy if you haven’t. It’s a useful tool for gauging whether your daily activities line up with your life purpose. And as we already know, life is too short to waste on things that don’t.
Number Three: Know when to let go.
The day before the baby robins left the nest, tension surrounded them. They balanced on its edge, preened, and stretched as much as the cramped quarters would allow. When I got home from work the following day, only two babies remained in the nest. Another perched on our back fence, king of all he surveyed. Shortly afterwards, I had the privilege of watching the other two flutter off within 20 seconds of each other. (I suppose it’s slightly possible it had something to do with my opening the window in an attempt to capture them on video. But I figure they wouldn’t have gone for it if it hadn’t been the right time.)
How sad would it be if those baby robins never let go of their nest? They’d never fly, never fend for themselves, and never fulfill their purpose.
Whether it’s your children, your career, your independence—or a host of other things, there comes a time when you must let go. Recognizing that time takes great discernment, but often we know it’s time yet don’t act. Pride, fear, stubbornness, or our need for control take over.Is there something you need to let go of? Be honest. Then do it.