It was April in Alaska, when steel-gray skies weigh upon the heart, and birch trees seem to dress in mourning attire. About mid-month we hadn’t packed away knit caps yet, and underfoot my wife and I crunched traction sand on pavement that finally replaced black ice. As we ambled along, we desperately searched for signs of spring after a record year of 134.5 inches of snowfall. Wet snow still pelted my glasses when Carol abruptly stopped. “Listen!”
I didn’t hear a thing.
“Robin is back!”
“Nah, too early, I think…”
“There! Hear it?”
Robin’s unmistakable, melodious “chup, chup!” drifted from a treetop along the road and we hurried nearer. It wasn’t a rollicking song. Robin had wintered in Mexico and just now arrived in Alaska. She sounded a tad melancholy, perhaps weary after her long, dangerous migration. No other robins answered her call.
For years in early spring our family has watched Robin collect grasses and twigs to build her nest somewhere discreet. She has emceed our evenings, scolding red squirrels and posing while we savored her happy lyrics, “Cheer up cheerio!” Her perky dark eyes never miss a grub or worm entrée, even if she seems preoccupied with performing.
May always takes us by surprise when it splashes our dreary landscape with spring colors like a Picasso protégé unleashed. This is when Robin’s relations suddenly populate our spruce trees. Her orange-breasted cousins and their speckled fledglings feast on watermelon berries, currants, and our infamous Alaska mosquitoes, until September.
After 30-plus years in the Great Land, we still marvel at the God-given instincts guiding wildlife thousands of miles to Alaska year after year. Each specie relies upon their built-in GPS to find forage and safe nesting sites.
We humans sometime travel great distances, too, in search of peace of mind—but sadly, an inherent selfishness has corrupted our instincts. Without God’s help we migrate to the same barren wastelands time and again. But when we invite Jesus to set our flight path, he deposits the Spirit of Truth in our hearts to keep us on his migration route. Jesus will hold us on course to our final destination—our home in heaven.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.