Childrens Page

                                            earnest-nig     

                                         Rev. E. Anderson

THE WOODPECKER’S NEST

Rev. Ivor Powell

 

I regret to say that during my lifetime I have done many foolish things. Often I escaped without serious hurt, but at other times my shortsightedness caused grave misgivings.

 

I remember an afternoon when I walked with my parents along a mountain lane in Wales. Nearly twenty years earlier I had travelled that way on a bird-nesting expedition, and had found a woodpecker’s nest. The neat round hole had been bored into the trunk of a tree, and inside the bird had made a depression in which to lay her egg.

 

l was only a small boy when I found that nest, but the discovery thrilled me. I heard the rhythmical tap-tap-tap of another drilling bird as a similar nest was made elsewhere in the woods, and I became fascinated by the tunnel in the tree. All this I remembered as I climbed the mountain again. My love for ornithology had grown with me into manhood. and I eagerly hurried along the lane, looking for the twenty years’ old nest. I knew that once the woodpecker had bored its hole, the tunnel remained there during the lifetime of the tree.

 

When I failed to find the tree, I wondered if it had been destroyed. Had the farmer cut it down? However, I had only misjudged the distance, for when I walked another fifty yards, I found what I sought. When I saw the same tiny tunnel, memories crowded into my mind and I relived earlier days. The nest was seven feet from the ground and because I did not wish to ruin a good suit. I refrained from trying to reach it with my hands. Yet I was drawn to that hole, and felt disappointed in being so frustrated.

 

Why could I not climb the tree? Why had my hand grown too large to be inserted in the hole? I frowned, and did a stupid thing. I wondered if another bird were there, and lifting my walking stick, poked it down the tunnels half expecting a woodpecker to fly out. Again I was dis-appointed, and in sheer frustration moved my stick round and round in the hole. My action was not only foolish it was disastrous for in the old nest a colony of wasps had made their home. Hundreds of infuriated wasps surged from the tree, and I ran for my life! That was the last time I stirred a hole for I discovered that it was wiser and safer to mind my own business!

 

Yet, how often have I seen similar things taking place elsewhere. Man’s greatest weakness seems to be that he loves to have his own way. He yearns to get his hand into every nest; and if sometimes Church legislation prevents the fulfillment of his desires, he begins to sulk, like a silly schoolboy. Then instead of allowing the “hole in the tree” to remain peacefully at rest, the frustrated fellow takes a stick to stir everybody and everything. And more often than not, his action disturbs a wasps’ nest. All kinds of tiny demons are suddenly liberated, and the peaceful calm of church becomes filled with angry buzzing. Only noble men can smile in defeat. Alas, some men are not noble; and if such be defeated in a church ballot, if they fail to get their own way in an Assembly or home, volcanic murmurings may be heard in their throats and the violent eruptions which follow are even worse than the stirring of a wasps’ nest.

 

Happy indeed is the man who believes “. . . .  all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose”. Blessed indeed is the woman who can in defeat can say, “Even this disappointment may be in the centre of the will of God for me. If I can smile now, my heavenly Father will overrule this unfortunate affair and make it work for my good”.

 

This restful attitude outlaws irritability; this gracious action preserves a calm which supersedes all else. There is reason to believe that sometimes our theology is clearer than our Christian example. We believe something which we do not practice. If God be for us, who can be against us? It follows, then. That if we are denied certain things, the Lord might be indirectly responsible for the denial. Why should we be upset if things do not work out as we had hoped? 

Woodpeckers’ nests can be a source of great danger, especially when church members carrying walking sticks  

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