On Birds, Barking Dogs, and Leaf Blowers...

I went for a walk the other day. The air was brisk and the birds were singing. Most of the fall leaves have dropped but there are plenty of evergreen trees and bushes in my neighborhood where birds are nesting and hiding out. It was lovely.

The week before, I took a short video of the sky with the soundtrack of birds and decided to post it on Instagram as a minute of "Wordless wonder and worship for your weekend." Even this self-proclaimed "word-girl" needs the quiet I find in nature, and it was calming to my soul to record and share a minute of wordless wonder.

I wanted to do it again, so while I was out walking on Friday, I tried to take some more video of trees and birds.

But there were leaf blowers.

They just kept blowing. It was crazy how their noise would carry across backyards and echo throughout the neighborhood. The birds kept singing, but I couldn't take a video without the leaf blower and lawn mowers intruding on my soundtrack.

I actually laughed out loud when I realized the leaf blowers were the perfect metaphor for a couple of comments/reactions I received online when I shared my Faith STEMS: Christmas lessons as a boosted post on Facebook.

I thought I'd experiment with paying a few bucks to share my post with people not in my usual network. There were some likes, but I also had a couple of people hit the laughing emoji and someone commented: "Keep your deity and your religion far away from any schools, sweetie."

(I wasn't marketing to schools, but thanks. Sweetie?)

I fully realize that was pretty tame for internet negativity. And I know that as I start to put my videos and writing further out there I'm bound to encounter more and more people who don't like what I'm offering and might laugh at the idea of mixing faith and science. But what I am praying is that God will help me ignore them while I pay attention to His voice and the encouragement of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Like how I eventually ignored neighborhood leaf blower brigade and kept listening to the birds.

People who think they don't like Jesus might be like the neighborhood dog I've nicknamed "Nosey" (because he always sticks his nose through the fence.) If I get close (still on the street, mind you!) he'll start barking. He can't get out and he can't hurt me, but if I just stand there nicely, he eventually stops barking and just looks at me curiously. I'm not going to stop walking by his fence and I'm not going to yell at him, like I'm not going to yell at people online. I'll keep walking by Nosey's corner, just like I'll try to faithfully share what God is calling me to share. I want to be like a bird adding its song to the neighborhood chorus without letting the barking dogs and leaf blowers of the world shut me down.

Whatever song you are called to sing...
Whatever art you are inspired to create...
Whatever work you are made to do...
Do it to the glory of the One who made you.

Eventually the leaf blowers will move on and the barking dogs might start paying attention and welcome us into their world. We just never know.

"Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people..." (Colossians 3:23 NET)