Confessions of a Rookie Birder: Generation after generation

Ava watching birds at the feeder. (Photo by Jenna Shaw)

One of the textbooks for training ministers in seminary made the point that Christianity is never more than one generation away from extinction. If we don’t continue to pass our faith to our children and our grandchildren, they most likely will not have faith at all. That responsibility is very personal for each of us.

That idea has been on my mind lately as our six-year-old granddaughter made her profession of faith and was baptized over the past week. Our work with her, however, is not done––and it never will be. We had a family Bible study last week that was based on the Hang Son Doong cave in Vietnam. The cave is the largest in the world and has been described as one of the most beautiful places on earth. Yet the cave remained hidden until a man discovered it in 1991. I was explaining this to my granddaughter to show how God the Creator created things that go beyond our expectations and our needs and teach us about God as our creator. She looked at me, her eyes full of wonder, and said, “Wow! I didn’t even know that and I am a Christian.” “Yes,” I responded, “and you’ll be learning about God for the rest of your life.”

Helping Ava use binoculars to spot the birds. (Photo by Jenna Shaw)

So what does all this have to do with birds? When I first became interested in birds, I sent her some photos of the birds I had seen. She picked up on my passion and began to watch the birds. I sent her a junior bird guide and a pair of binoculars to encourage her enthusiasm. This past week, we spent time together as I helped her use the binoculars to see the birds. My passion for birds is a great place to connect to her.

Birding allows us to spend time together, to reflect on the amazing design of the birds, and to talk about God in the process. I pray that I never forget that the birds are a gift from God that I can use to encourage her faith and understanding of Him.

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