[Read the full post at A Life Overseas.]
“You can’t keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair.”
You’ve probably heard a form of this saying, usually referring to some sort of temptation.
I like the old Jamaican version: “You can’t keep crow from flyin’, but you can keep him from pitchin’ ‘pon you head.”
What birds are circling nearby for you? Lust? Anger? Hopelessness? Greed?
Yeah, I’ve got those. But there’s another kind of bird that wants to roost in my hair. It’s nasty and dirty, with grey oily feathers. It’s heavy and clumsy and foul smelling. It’s eyes, they’re a dull green. It’s name is Jealousy.
This is not the kind of righteous jealousy felt by God, whose name is Jealous (Exodus 34:14). No, my jealousy makes me lay claim to things that are not my own. If there are taller people in the room, not only do I look for a box to stand on, but I’m also tempted to kick the feet out from under them. There’s nothing attractive about Jealousy, and the nest it wants to build is repulsive, as well, made out of frustrations and excuses, crooked sticks, rusty paper clips, snakeskins, and used Band-Aids.
Jealousy is the offspring of a strange combination of parents: One is “You’re not good enough,” and the other is “You deserve better.”
It’s been hovering close by for a long time, like a loyal friend. But it’s not a friend. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. And yet, there it is.
Continue reading at A Life Overseas.
[photo: “Home Improvement,” by Mike Timberlake, used under a Creative Commons license]
2 thoughts on “A Horrible Bird Named Jealousy [—at A Life Overseas]”
I’m glad you wrote about this. I lived in Thailand for 6 and a half years. I especially liked the line about the smile. You probably know that Thai’s have many different kinds of smiles. It is a good smile to recognize God in any situation, but especially when I know I’m wrong….completely….and still not criticized…… just forgiven. That smile makes me laugh at my frailty and still want to go forward with the God who walks with us; and says, come on get over yourself, friends.
Thanks for the reply, Juanita. No, I didn’t know about the different types of smiles in Thailand. “Come on get over yourself, friends.” Amen.