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The Birds on the Runway

I spent the last week on Cayman Brac at the “barefoot and Breaking Free” retreat hosted by Mary and Russ Brandes – very special people.

The island is small – only 12 miles long! Each morning I got up to walk just as it was dawning. Even then it is hot and humid. My walk took me parallel to the airport runway. One morning after a storm I noticed puddles along my path. A fence separated me from the tiny airport but I could see the lights and the commotion as the early morning flight was preparing to board.

I continued my walk and came upon a flock of birds bathing in a storm- left puddle. The were inside the perimeter fence, just feet from the runway. They seemed to be having a grand time splashing in the water as well as picking at any bugs or grain they spotted.

They were oblivious to the airport activity. The folks who had gotten up early, packed their bags, ate a hurried breakfast, driven to the airport, said their goodbyes…I could only speculate but perhaps there was one rushing to the bedside of a loved one, another to the funeral of a friend, a harried business man concerned for the future, a grandmother eager to see a new grand baby…who knows the many and varied reasons the folks were traveling that morning.

As one who travels frequently, I am in an airport now, I can tell you if the stress of travel. I have written about it. No doubt that morning was stressful for some. Perhaps fear of flying over open water was causing stress…

But those little birds were carefree. They trusted the bounty of God’s care. They were secure in God’s love. I thought about that. Why can’t I trust God that way? Why do I add to my stress by worrying.

Even now with a 24-hr flight delay I am fretting about the days ahead. Can I get everything done in time to leave again on Friday?

I am reminded of the birds…”Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your Heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable to him then they are?” (MT 6:26 NLT)

Of course we are. He takes great care of our every need. Will you believe that for today? Will I?

0 replies
  1. Becky Johnson
    Becky Johnson says:

    I once spoke at this same retreat, and so delighted that Mary is still doing it! It was my first time ever to snorkel and I was overcome by the unseen beauty below the surface of the water, and of course the spiritual parallels to that. God reveals himself so often in nature. If we are looking…

  2. Melinda Thornton
    Melinda Thornton says:

    Ruth – I missed joining you this year! May God bless and guide your travels home. He has a plan for you during this 24-hour delay!

  3. Kristi
    Kristi says:

    What a great challenge for all of us and thanks for bringing it to mind. I am really going to try to reduce my wasteful worrying time.

  4. Susan Jezek
    Susan Jezek says:

    Ruth — we were so blessed to share the time on Cayman Brac with you. You are one of the reasons I went this year…thanks for your transparency and demonstration of grace…especially when I got seasick! I truly hope our paths cross again and I will be praying for your important ministry.


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