Maturing Cockatiels and Christians
There were years when I raised birds, hand-feeding them so they would grow up to be more easily trainable as pets. The fact that I was hand-feeding them meant they would be imprinted by me (a human being) instead of by the mother bird. They would bond to me, therefore, be easily trained by the human who purchased them. Imprinting is the key if birds or animals are to be sold as mature, trained birds.
I was reminiscing today about the clutches of eggs I incubated, then hand-fed after they were hatched. They looked like little aliens with almost no feathers, but soon they would grow into beautiful birds who were not afraid of humans, and it would be time to hand-train them.
Babies are born without a working immune system so they are more susceptible to getting bacterial or fungal infections from your hands, ordinary household objects and an environment that has been contaminated with disease causing organisms. And the job of feeding the formula to them is 24/7, so between the cleaning and the feeding, it’s more than a full-time job! Just making the formula (which must always be fresh) is a chore.
But there comes a time when I had to start weaning these babies from their mushy formula, throw away the syringe, and introduce them to seed/fruit mixtures. They had to switch from baby food to adult food incrementally.
Scripture teaches the same principle both through the mouth of the Apostle Paul, and of Peter. Peter said, in I Peter 2:1-3
1) Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2) Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3) now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
And then in Hebrews 5:11-14 we read:
Concerning him [Melchizedek, as a type of Christ] we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12) For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
13) For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
14) But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
So what the message of my Bible Study, and also of my cockatiels is, baby food is for babies. And if I am growing in my faith, I need to be desiring the meat of the Word. Sometimes it feels ‘safe’ to run back to the milk, but it will stunt my spiritual growth. Just think how my body would look if I had never eaten anything but milk! Who knows if I would even be alive?
Once again, Father, You have used nature to teach me Your principles. Thank you for allowing my memories to make this Bible Study come to life! I want to be a mature Christian!
(c) 2009 April Lorier
Supplied by and reprinted with permission of April Lorier.
April is a nurturing person and spends much of her time ministering to female prisoners. It does not surprise me that she also nurtured just-hatched birds. As you may discern, I am a big fan of this woman who changed California law at great expense to herself. With great pride, I wrote a review for her book, and I will be honored to write one for her next book. She is committed to protecting the rights of children who are being abused or neglected and has made quite a reputation for herself in this state.