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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Stellers Jays, Peanuts, and Dusty Bibles: Neglecting Bible Study

Stellers jays love peanuts.  Sharing the forest with them for these many years has taught us that.  Their affinity for the shelled delicacies will cause them to push outside their comfort zone and stretch the boundaries of their timid natures.

Steller's Jay reaching for peanut with beak
By tracie7779 (originally posted to Flickr as DSC_0152) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 
(], via Wikimedia Commons
For quite some time now, though, there has been an increase in black bear activity in our little mountain community. Bounded as we are on all sides by National Forest, we have planted ourselves in the middle of the bears' territory, so we cannot much blame them.

It is the general policy of the community to avoid placing any food where it may attract bears.  The measure is necessary for their long term safety.  It is best that they not get too comfortable around people.  The self-imposed limitations extend to bird feeders.

So, for quite a while we have not been feeding the chickadees or finches, and, we have not been setting out our customary daily peanuts for the stellers jays when they are here in the area.  Our lonely bird feeder sits empty, and the deck rail is both bare and, well, badly in need of paint...but that's a blog post for another day.

Today, we decided to bend the rules a bit, and set out a few of the tempting snacks.  We heard some of the jays' characteristic strident squawking, and ventured to think that they may be returning for Lent, as they ordinarily do.

The peanuts though, sit untouched, hours later.  It's a surprise.  One of two possibilities present themselves.  Either, our beautiful blue winged neighbors are not back yet, and we have more winter ahead, or, they just don't remember that the peanuts might be there.

We haven't fed them in so long, that they may just not remember to look.

Those peanuts are a bit like my Bibles, I'm afraid.  We have several around the house, of course.  But other books...cookbooks, grade books, accounting logbooks, historical fiction.... seem to command my attention so much these days.  Have I forgotten that the most important book is there?  Of course not, ...not really.  But I have perhaps, forgotten to look.

Bear cub
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
When you attend a liturgical church, you are immersed in scripture.  The lectionary readings are always in their prominent place in the service.  They span all parts of the Bible: Old Testament, Psalms, epistles, and the Gospel.  The liturgy is saturated with Scripture and the Daily Office is dripping with it.  It’s easy to feel that you’ve got the Bible reading thing covered.  But, just sitting down to read and study?  I’ve been neglecting it lately.

It's a shame really.  Peanuts for stellers jays and Bibles for Christians are rather nourishing, aren't they?  And, bears aren't likely to come around and disturb either delicacy, as long as folks take pains to monitor and guard the treasure.  I suppose that both neglected habits need restoring in the familiar cycle of my days.

For the unplanned Part 2 of this post, click here.
For More on Lent, check here.

Steller's Jay taking flight from wood rail holding a peanut in its beak
By tracie7779 (originally posted to Flickr as DSC_0178) [CC-BY-SA-2.0
 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. I am visiting from Soli Deo Gloria for the first time, and I just love the way you write. Your prose is soothing and interesting, and the way you relate the birds and peanuts to Bible reading is fantastic. Thanks for making me think!

  2. we are neighbors...I love the must live with such beauty around you...peanuts and Bibles...yes both can be taken for granted...blessigns to you...

  3. I was so afraid you were going to say you were visited by a bear! But...a much better ending--a challenge. I go through seasons, it seems. Right now, I am thankful to be in the midst of a wonderful study with my girlfriends. What a blessing. So true.

  4. I'm with Laura - I go through seasons, too. When my father-in-law was dying this winter I turned to morning Bible study again, and I've kept up the practice so far through Lent. I'm finding it a soothing and peaceful way to start the day.

  5. Good anaology. We do not attend a liturgical church, but we do attend a Bible church and the Bible is presented in a very practical personal way. I read a lot of scripture online just by reading what others share each week on Spiritual Sundays. I know I should also read the Bible on my own and I do but probably not as much as I should. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and activities, and look out for those bears.

  6. It is often hard to find a time for everything, and some things can easily slip by the wayside at times. I think it is an ebb and flow of where you are at in life at the time determining where your focus sits at that time. Thank you for linking up with us at NOBH!

  7. Wonderful comparison! Thank you for always pointing me to higher ground!


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