This is a ladder-backed woodpecker. I was trying to get his picture when he slipped around the back side of this stump. He was completely hidden from view, but a moment later he popped his head up from the back to check on me.
He was caught in a predicament. He wanted to hide, but on the other side of the coin he wanted to know what I was up to—whether or not I was getting closer.
The only way he could check on my position was to stick his head up and look. He only had two choices. He could remain hidden, but ignorant of danger. Or he could be aware of his circumstances, yet this would require becoming exposed.
The hidden bird may feel safer, but he isn’t. Whatever he’s hiding from might be approaching. The bird who feels the most unsafe is better off. This one is tracking the danger and can therefore flee before danger is close enough to do any real harm.
Of course, it’s not just birds who need to keep an eye on threats. People also need to be aware of the risks in their lives, and understand what to pursue and what to flee. Being aware of all the dangers around us can make us feel less safe, but that is just a feeling. This alertness gives us the opportunity to respond to the situation.
Believers should realize threats come in more than just the physical realm. Prayer is a wonderful tool for helping you identify threats that are moral or spiritual in nature. The alert observer will be able to see lives destroyed in these traps as well as physical dangers.
Colossians 4:2 (HCSB) “Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.”