Saturday, 14 July 2012

Little Birdie

We were recently at a resort for a holiday break. The location, the breathtaking views, the perfect combination of sand, water, gentle breeze, the sounds of peaceful rest, I have such appreciation for the Creator!

At the same time, the harmonious combination of services provided at this resort meets every perceived whim or need. Shelter for the frail body that can be harmed through excessive weather, food to shape the body and prime it for service, companionship to feed the social needs, and genial entertainment that soothes the spirit and engages the imagination.

So here at the resort, my main work is to suntan. Between suntanning episodes there are swimming breaks, eating breaks, sleeping breaks, and not doing much but relaxing breaks. It is a hard life, but somehow I got voluntold for this job.

We head to the open air restaurant for mealtime and we notice the place could easily be overcome with wildlife if it didn't have netting on the windows and doors. Low tech solutions include a door monitor person who holds the netting for entries and exits. However, sometimes a keen little bird slips in, hopping sideways between the netting, eager for the feast of corn nibblets or bread crumbs. Interesting choices, but that is what they take. So we watch them in silence.

This makes one think the little prayer "Be still,and know I am God!". I silently thank the Creator for the millions of adventurous creatures of the depths who fulfilled their lives and their legacy is the perfectly soft sand that we walk upon. Whether the wind is more powerful, or the sun, one can't help but notice how every part of creation zealously uplifts its face in the breeze adoring the sun. Every tree, flowering plant, and crawling reptile pursues its mission of purpose, of gratitude, and of service.

It is so in Ukrainian Calgary, too. So many blessings: our amazing location nestled in the pocket of creation rich in resources, the best prairie and mountain vistas, sunshine and chinook reprieves from winter, few mosquitos, the perfect combination of healthy water, clean air, as well as the pleasant tug of economic opportunity.

Is it any wonder this harmonious living has blessed us with such a vibrant Ukrainian community in Calgary as well? Really, so far away from "the mother ship"' Ukraine, we have so many tremendous human services that meet just about every perceived human need or whim. Everything from Ukrainian child services, to Ukrainian language schools, youth activities, opportunities to learn, teach, serve, sing, play, share, revel and worship exists in our Ukrainian Calgary. And the amazing thing new immigrants to Calgary are astounded to realize -  primarily volunteer work!! It's like Ukrainian Calgary attended "self-help" classes for 120 years!! Perhaps in light of all this we could revisit the "self-help" theme. What is it all about?  What for? 
To paraphrase Richard N. Bolles, the writer who has sold over 8 million copies of the series "What Color is Your Parachute?", purpose is threefold.  First, to seek to stand in the presence of the Creator, to know Him as God, and to enjoy Him and see His hand in all things. Second, to do what you can, moment by moment, to make this world a better place, having embraced His wisdom. Third, to employ the unique talents and abilities that He has gifted to you, which you use with immense joy and fulfillment, in the places and services for which He has created the perfect need of you.

Is yours a mission of mind? Are you an optimistic pioneer who sees possibilities where others see problems?  Could your gift of vision and leadership help Ukrainian Calgary?  Perhaps the spirit will move you? 
Is yours a mission of gratitude? Do Ukrainian Canadian arts, symbols, literature, music, dance and history hold a special place in your spirit - and can you convey that to others?   Maybe you are a resource, a helper, a Ukrainian school teacher and nurture a love of Ukrainian ancestry in our children?
Is yours a gift of service? Are you blessed with abundance, and want to "pay it forward"?

Sitting in the resort restaurant, I watched my husband look over my head, raise his eyes, and smile broadly. He had spied a little bird flying to and from the netted window. Watching him smile so sweetly, I couldn't help but ask what was going on behind me. Turning, I watched the little bird pick up little food crumbs and fly to the screen, where the little bird's life partner was singing beautifully in anticipation of the shared crumbs coming to him. Their little beaks opened, their voices chirped happily, they shared the bounty left by the guests.

An astoundingly beautiful metaphor. Don't we all wait for the crumbs to fall upon us fom the Creator's bountiful table? I hope you will share some of your crumbs: time, talent, and treasure. Bud'mo!

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