Stop the Birds

birds6:25 a.m.

“Birds, would you be quiet please?  I’m trying to sleep,” Ruby commanded from her upstairs window.

At least she asked nicely.

Chirp, chirp.  Tweet, tweet.  An ornithological cacophony greeted her from the neighboring trees.

Zac’s room is next door to hers. He can sleep through most things, but…I went upstairs.

“Ruby, what are you doing?”

She turned around from her harangue, face red from her efforts.

“Mom, the birds won’t stop chirping, and I’m trying to sleep!”

Her frustration oozed from every pore.

“And they’re not going to,” I said.

“It’s their morning time and they’re awake now.  You wanted your window open at night.  This is what happens in the morning.  You can get back in bed and ignore it if you want. Now stop yelling out your window and forget about sleeping.”

I paused.

“The world doesn’t revolve around you, Ruby.”

I said the last sentence with a smile, because Ruby isn’t the only one with me-first views.  We all struggle with it.  We want to be first in line.  Presidential suite, please.  I’m flying first class.  I’ll take the deluxe burger.

This old world won’t stand for that kind of entitlement.  Others have lives, too.  We’d like to be preferred above all others, every day. Besides, getting angry at what creatures do as a regular part of their lives is a waste of energy.  It’s like getting mad at the sun for shining – or not.  We can’t change inherent behaviors or seasons or times.  Babies cry. Cats need food. Little girls like sleep.

Yet not the sleep that’s the problem.  It’s our expectations. Can we let others be who they are and stop trying to mold them to our standards?  Ruby will not tame the songbirds outside her window.  She can’t muzzle their sound. They’re doing what they were born to do:  greet the morning light. She can close her window to block the sound.  Or she can embrace the beautiful songs of God’s creation.  It’s a choice we each must make.

The birds nest beside the streams and sing among the branches of the trees. – Psalm 104:12

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