Silas Birdbrain's Mistake

When Mr. And Mrs. Robin Birdbrain arrived from their winter vacation, they decided to set up housekeeping in the town of Flutterford, which is located in the north part of Birddom. Although weary with their long flight, they lost no time in getting a comfortable nest home prepared with the finest and softest material that could be found, and soon Mrs. Birdbrain was sitting on four beautiful little blue eggs. Meanwhile Robin concentrated on a theme of encouragement singing, “Cheer-up, cheer-up, cheereee,” at the top of his voice. In nature’s wonderful way, it was not long until they had a lovely family of four baby birds to feed and protect. Although they may have looked ugly to others with their big mouths and voracious appetites, to Mr. And Mrs. Birdbrain they were the sweetest family in Flutterford. Robin drove off birds twice his size who dared to come too near his precinct, and whenever the least bit of danger was sighted he scolded angrily with all his might until things were safe again.

Time went by quickly and soon three of the birds hopped out on a limb and began flexing their wings, But Silas Birdbrain did no join them. No sir! Not Silas! He said he would not “go out on a limb” until he could do it right, so he stayed snug in the nest and scolded a little louder when he got hungry. Smiling, he said to himself, “I’m going to play safe. I’m not taking any chances.” One bright sunny morning Sally Birdbrain saucily dared the other two to jump off the limb and fly. The dare was accepted and soon a very scared robin was floundering around on the ground and the other two laughlingly envious of her achievement. It was not long until they followed---but not Silas. Silas chided, “You go ahead and make a fool of yourselves if you like---all the birds in Flutterford are laughing at you. I’m not going to fly until I know how, and then I can do it right. I’m not taking chances on getting hurt.” With this Silas stretched his pretty wings admiringly.

As the weeks went by the three robins became more and more fleet of wing. They caught their first juicy worms and gradually became self-reliant as they joined in playful games of hide-and-seek with other friendly birds in the neighborhood. Meanwhile Silas began to complain bitterly of the selfishness of the other birds because nobody was paying any attention to him. His hunger made him realize that he must do something. He called his brother to him and talked it over. Finally they made a bargain whereby each one in the family would take turns and bring Silas some worms to keep him from starving. This gave Silas a false sense of security.

One morning Silas awakened chilled through and through. Jack Frost had been around and soon the woodlands became a riot of colors. Some leaves actually were pulled from their branches as the wind tugged and rustled them. Besides the rustling of the leaves there was a lot of commotion in Flutterford. All the birds from Wingsville and Birdtown were there. Silas had never seen so many birds congregated in one place before, nor had he seen such excitement. “What is going on?” he asked irritably. “Can’t you be more quiet when I’m cold and want to rest?” “Mother says we are going on our winter vacation cown south,” said Sally Birdbrain. “It will soon be cold here and the ground will be too hard for worms. You better get ready quickly, for we are leaving soon and no one is staying behind.”

For once Silas was alarmed. “Oh dear, what will I do?” he said. “Help me somebody, and I will learn to fly.” But Silas had grown heavy and he had never exercised his wings so that his predicament was altogether hopeless. Wistfully he saw them take off and fly away. Straining his eyes he caught sight of his brother and two sisters flying as confidently as any. Silas began to reflect. He knew now that by not trying---for him a tragic and fatal mistake. Now he was dependent on others for life itself, and he felt so useless he did not think it would do any good to ask anyone for help.

Silas ruefully surveyed his misspent life---so young and yet so completely a failure. He mused, “It is better to try and fail, than to fail to try.” He thought if he had his life to love over again, he would assume the responsibility for himself and if possible for others if he could---for he knew that by helping others he could help himself indirectly. Never again would he bargain for others to supply food he should be getting for himself. It deprived him of ever becoming self-reliant. Finally he determined that he would not blame others for his own shortcomings.

There are many Silas’ in the world today in every neighborhood. Christians who refuse to accept responsibility because of a feeling of incompetence soon discover their talents shriveling and lessening. Burdens for a Christian are what wings are to a bird. The more you accept them, the stronger and more capable you became. If you surrender moral convictions to gratify selfish whims and to feed fleshly vanity you lose irretrievably and discover a widening gulf between yourself and those who follow the will of God. Psa. 106.15 says, “He gave them their request; but sent leanness to their souls.” Similarly James says, “Ye ask, but ye ask amiss that ye might consume it on your lusts.” Pride cost Silas his usefulness, and moreover his life. Fear of what other birds might say or think prevented him from trying. Paul says, “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Rom 11:29. Esau traded his birthright for food. What are you trading yours for? Life is rigorous and Christian life is very demanding if we are to make a success of it. So is any other calling demanding. The Christian way demands our best and in order to be sure, we must be obedient. “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” Isa. 1:19
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