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Neglected Gifts

Are humans controlled by habits? In this daily devotional, a small bird makes one woman think about life.

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“He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.”—Mark 11:13

I was raking leaves when a small brown-backed bird with a spotted chest darted out of the woods and just as swiftly darted back. A wood thrush. Not much to look at with his drab coloring: His glory is his song. On spring evenings he’s a liquid voice from the forest edge, a flute song at twilight.

Not a sound did this one utter, of course—wrong time of year. Still I gazed longingly into the trees where he had vanished, hoping in vain for some reprise of his rhapsody of a few months ago.

What melody that small bird was endowed  with, I thought—and how parsimonious he was with his great gift, spending it on his narrow concerns of territory and mating, locked into his cycle of seasonal behavior.

Do we humans, too, have neglected gifts, I  wondered, channeled by habit into narrow repetitive paths?

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