There was a lumberjack who was instructed to clear a small forest. As he was making his preparations, he noticed that a bird was gathering twigs furiously to start a nest in one of the trees.
He could already anticipate what would happen. By the time he got around to cutting down this tree, the mother bird would have finished the nest and laid her eggs. When the tree inevitably came down, so would the mother bird and her unborn babies.
Plagued by this thought, the lumberjack went to the tree and shook it vigorously. It worked…the mother bird stopped making her nest and began work at a tree a few meters away.
But the lumberjack followed her and shook the tree again.
Perturbed, the mother bird flew a bit further to another tree to begin again. Once again, the lumberjack followed and shook.
Now the mother bird was angry. She went from tree to tree and no matter where she went, the lumberjack followed.
Fed up, the mother bird finally flew out of the forest and found a rock far away from the forest. There, the lumberjack couldn’t bother her and she could make her nest in peace. But the lumberjack knew, in his heart of hearts, that he had done the right thing.
We build on trees that are meant to fall. When the lumberjack comes to shake us out, we glare at him, stubbornly refusing to move. But still he shakes.
Some of us have more energy than others and we move from tree to tree. But still he follows.
The few of us with sense move to build our lives on rock. And in his heart of hearts, he knows that he shook us out of love.
-Adapted from Dr. Tim Keller’s Sermon on the Unchanging God-