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Jump-Start Your Day

Thursday, April 12th, '18

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

BIRDS OF A DIFFERENT FEATHER

"...be courteous" (1 Peter 3:8)

 

A big thank you would have been quite sufficient, a simple tipping of the crown after judges crowned four-year-old Matthew as the 2006 king of the Patterson, California Apricot Festival. But instead of a crown tipped, a finger was flipped. Little Matthew raised his middle finger to the crowd. With his newfound sense of royalty the lad gave the crowd a royal up-yours, but as his mother defended, "He doesn't know any better. What do you expect, he's only four!" True, it's California, where there are lots of birds. The most famous are the swallows that return annually to San Juan Capistrano, but those are birds of a different feather. Where did the child learn bird language? I suspect mother, unless he is in preschool. He may have gotten a head-start in hand signaling at Head-Start. He may have gleaned it from TV programs, Big Bird or whatever. Or perhaps, like Mommy defended, it was merely a youthful accident.

 

You would think some coaching would have been in order. Picture Mom guiding the new Apricot monarch, "Matty, be sure to wave at all the people after you're given the crown". Instead the instinctive came forth. How distasteful. Even more distasteful, some parents thought it was cute. Oh, I forgot to mention, the judge panel defrocked the child on the spot and gave the crown to the runner-up. Good for them. Matthew was red-faced. As a parent I would have made sure that wasn't all that was red because you just don't flip off the fine people of Patterson. But that's the culture we live in. It fits Paul's text that rebukes "filthiness, foolish talking, and coarse jesting which are not fitting..." (Ephesians 5:5) Hand signals are as common on some streets as turn signals.

 

Someone flipped off one of my pastor friends who chased his assailant at 80-MPH in his church van. The guy looked in his rear-view mirror to read the lettering across the front of the van, "THE CHURCH OF THE FRIENDLY FOLKS", with a distempered "man of the cloth" behind the wheel. Ah, road rage. What would the dear pastor have done with the man had he caught him? No one is totally un-flippable but all can remain unflappable. Whenever someone gives me the You're Number One sign I try to take it as a compliment. Not everyone gets to be number one, you know. Peter urged, "Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing..." (1 Peter 3:9) Jesus commanded, "Bless those that curse you". That's not easy but remembering that vengeance belongs to the Lord, in time a bigger guy will come along and break the finger you wish you could break. Leave the city's bird problem to the authorities. I didn't include Matthew's last name because I think all juveniles need a second chance. God knows I needed one. But the common etiquette of sit up straight, fold your hands on your lap and wave at the people with the cameras is something that all four-year-olds need to know. The news clip showed Matthew playing video games. Anyone that can control a computer mouse ought to be able to control their fingers as well.


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