"A wonderful bird is the pelican. His beak can hold more than his belly can!"
Today's Chapel-A-Day location wasn't in a chapel at all, and frankly, it wasn't especially spiritual. The hour a day of time that I am "giving up" for Lent was spent in a place where I feel the closest to God... on the shore of my beloved Gulf of Mexico. And I was joined by some of my most favorite creatures on the planet... brown pelicans.
There are two brown pelicans that I love the most. Since I moved to the beach in the fall of 2013, they have flown by my place at almost the same time every day. Rain or shine. Winter or summer. They are as reliable as the sunset. I've named them Romeo and Juliet. I like to think that they know me. Because, I promise you.. they dip their wings at me as they swoop by! No. Lie.
Tomorrow, I am to deliver a message on LOVE. Tomorrow is the day before the "love holiday," Valentine's Day.
I pondered my sweet Romeo and Juliet couple as I sat by the water's edge today. I decided they are a good example of what love needs to be in our lives.
First, brown pelicans are loyal. They mate for life and they don't decide on that mate lightly. They have a pretty cool dating life before "settling down," comparing bird calls, negotiating dance rituals, and sharing food before "tying the knot" so to speak.
They put equal effort into the relationship. Both help create the home (nest) and when the babies come, both parents bring home the food and feed the babies. Romeo and Juliet demonstrate the value of togetherness and commitment. Am I reaching? Maybe. Maybe not.
Whatever your love relationship.. romantic, family, friend, community... there are lessons to be learned from the wonderful pelican. Lessons about fidelity, responsibility, unity, and continuity. God created us for relationship. Primarily for relationship with Him, then for relationship with others.
So... how's your "love life?"
While romantic love gets the most press... it's the love in our heart for friends, family, community, the world, and our God that makes the most impact. What is in our heart determines how we relate to others. It determines in large degree how happy we are.. and how happy we make those around us.
As I watched my friends Romeo and Juliet glide by today, I took heart. And like the pelican's "beak vs belly" characteristic, I asked God to give me more love in my heart than my heart can hold... so that the love can spill over and out, and bring joy to the family, friends, and community that He puts in my flight-pattern every day.