Beware the Baby Bird Effect

Babies are trusting little creatures – none more so than the bird. Have you ever watched how they eat? Sometimes they don’t even open their eyes. The sound of fluttering wings makes their creepy little heads pop up and await the pre-chewed worm guts. At least, that’s what they assume. In any case, no questions are asked.  

When I was young in my faith, I was a baby bird.  All it took was a phrase like, “The Bible is…” and my neck craned up to eat whatever was given. Fortunately, many of those phrases ended with, “God’s Word, trustworthy, sufficient, reliable, etc.” Either way, I wasn’t all that worried about my worm guts. Just eat them and move on was my method. 

Then I went to college.

Suddenly, “The Bible is…” was followed by, “mythology, inconsistent, debilitating.” Wait, what?! Teachers could always be trusted. But what they were saying was diametrically opposed to what I was taught growing up.

I just gobbled up whatever I was given. Good or bad.  It was the Baby Bird Effect. This caused a huge crisis of faith. According to these guys, Jesus was just another wise philosopher in history. Some of my classmates bought it. They left the Christian faith all together without batting an eye. 

But they were still baby birds gulping down whatever was spit in their mouths. 

Faith is anything but blind. It beckons you to zoom in and out from every angle. Picking and poking to see if there’s something you missed. That’s what I began to do. 

God isn’t afraid of people who think critically about their beliefs. In fact, He commends it. Look at what Paul said of the Bereans:

“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭17:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

 They didn’t just devour the grubs and move on. Instead, the people of Berea looked into it for themselves. Was the interpretation Paul was giving of the Law correct? Did this Christ event really happen?

When was the last time you thought critically about your beliefs like this? Don’t wait until crisis hits to ask the hard questions. Start now. Avoid the Baby Bird Effect.  

Here are a few places to start:

Mere Christianity by CS Lewis 

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

The Universe Next Door by James Sire

…and anything by Francis Schaeffer

Into Your Hands I Commit My School Year

The smell of fresh crayons and the sound of sniffling mommas can only mean one thing. School’s back. But so are yellow leaves and football and cooler weather and books. It’s easily my favorite time of year.

Whether you’re a wide-eyed freshman wandering around campus or the parent dropping off a little one who’s skipping off to first grade, I encourage you to start the school year with a prayer King David wrote.

Psalm 31:3, 5
For you are my rock and my fortress;

    and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
    you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

David leaned fully on the Fortress of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. In the shakiness of life, he ran to the Rock. “Into Your hand I commit my spirit.” It was a statement of absolute trust. The very same one Jesus uttered on the cross centuries later.

Every morning that I drop my daughter off at school is an act of faith. Many times, while driving away, I open my hands and tell the Lord, “I trust you. Whatever may come, I trust you.”

So, if you’re the student walking across campus this week or the tissue-wielding parent, open your hands with King David and say, “Into Your hands I commit all of it.” Take refuge in the Fortress of steadfast love, and enjoy the journey.