There’s a beautiful family of North American songbirds called the Wood Warblers. Every spring, when these colourful little birds return to their breeding grounds, the heavens are filled with their trills and whistles. There are over 50 species, and each has its own distinct song.
While they provide joy to those of us who hear them, the warblers’ songs serve very practical purposes. It is generally the male that sings, and he uses his song to attract a mate and to establish and secure his territory. Throughout the nesting season, the male will spend time every day singing from various perches around the perimeter of his territory, announcing to potential competitors, “This is mine!”
I recently learned that the baby birds begin learning their appropriate song while still in the nest. As their father circulates around his area and sings, defending his territory, the nestlings are listening to his song, which is being imprinted upon them. However, if the father is too far away for long stretches of time, and a male of a different species is singing his own song close by, it is possible that the offspring will learn the wrong song.
Imagine how confusing and difficult it would be for a bird to find a mate and live out its life when it has learned the wrong song!
It reminds me how important it is for us to listen to the right voice. Jesus said:
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 NIV)
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:10-11 NIV)
Let us keep our ears tuned to the voice of our good shepherd.
Prayer: Our beloved Father in heaven, there are so many competing voices in our world. Help us to hear Yours and Your Son’s above all others. Teach us to listen well, and help us to follow Jesus, our good shepherd. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Angie Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission