In the Western United States we have outbreaks of different types of tree killing insects. Two notable ones have been bark beetles and needle miners. Mountain chickadees do their part to suppress these tree destroying insects.
During an outbreak of needle miners in Arizona, a single mountain chickadee was found to have 275 of the tiny caterpillars in his stomach. Birds of many types are known to follow the populations of their prey. It might be owls going after rodents, Roadrunners after reptiles, or chickadees after insects but outbreaks of food sources are often followed closely by waves of birds ready to stabilize the overpopulation of their prey.
Birds are able to respond in this way for a few reasons. Perhaps the greatest reason is their flight. They are highly mobile and this allows them to travel to a new food source readily. In addition to this they tend to be highly social. Even though we don’t always understand how birds communicate with each other, it is likely many species will not just pursue food for themselves but also draw other birds to the food source. Another reason birds make such a difference in controlling pest populations is they are energetic. It takes a steady supply of calories to keep these little dynamos moving.
Christians should admire the positive traits of these avian defenders, and possibly imitate them in a few ways. The presence of Christians in a society, community, or neighborhood should always be a positive stabilizing affect. Our presence should help mitigate the presence of destructive behaviors, or sins. But beyond knowing what influence we want to have on society we should have some specific plans about how to get there.
First we should be able to recognize what is good and bad within our world. Not by the opinions of media and culture around us, but by the more accurate eternal truth of Scripture. Having a clear view of right and wrong is central to Christians having the leavening effect on culture Christ expects us to have.
Second we should be solid communicators. Showing those around us, both Christian and not, what is right about right and what is wrong
about wrong requires us to be articulate. One of the reasons we have failed in some areas of the culture wars is not because we took the wrong position, but because we have failed to communicate the truth clearly.
Finally we should maintain high levels of energy in promoting Biblical ideals and moral standards. It’s not acceptable to throw up our hands and surrender to the cultural immorality around us. Instead we must continue to fight the good fight.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 (HCSB) “Brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.” This verse is so simple in content, but so important in Christian living.