I opened my front door for some cool morning air long before the hot summer day began. I could tell it was going to be another hot day because the temperature was already warming up. Coffee, journal, Bible and study sheet. Ahhh, coffee with God. It’s the best!
Then I heard it, the sweet loving coo of a dove in my neighbor’s tree. It reminded me of the times I took retreats at the Mercy Center. I heard the doves so often at the Mercy Center; I often thought that God was cooing love songs for me. In that moment, I reflected back on my retreats at The Mercy Center in Burlingame with cool San Francisco Bay breezes and the song of the doves.
The aroma of coffee floated through the air as I sat with my eyes closed recalling those wonderful days of walking the prayer labyrinth, the beautiful Zen garden and the quiet of my solitary room. Suddenly, my reprieve erupted into a loud caw, caw, caw of an angry crow. I startled out of my reverie, irritated with the crow for interrupting my quiet time with God.
My prayer for that morning was (again) asking God to help me gain more self-control. I recognize that I need to turn around and go a new direction in that area of my life. Sometimes, much like Peter, I open my mouth and insert my foot. I know I need to change that habit.
In that brief moment of irritation with the crow repeatedly screaming, “Caw, caw, caw,” I heard something else. I heard the faint coo of the dove in the background. God showed me in these two birds, that I have a choice. I can choose to listen to the angry voices and sounds of the world…or I can choose to focus on the coo of love. God simply said, “Self-control is your choice. To which voice will you give your attention? When you listen and give your attention to the God of Love rather than the irritations of life…you will have the self-control you seek.”
One God, two birds…answered prayer.