Oh yes. Angry Birds. Who doesn’t love launching virtual wingless creatures with a virtual slingshot across a virtual field to destroy virtual bad piggies? This is random-ness at its best. Which is why kids love it! And if kids love it, I must find a way to use it to my advantage. (Insert villainous laugh.)
Kidding, of course. I want to use it for God’s glory. Surely that can be done, right?
Phew! Those Angry Birds are everywhere! They are persistent.
Along comes Nehemiah, and it hits me like an Angry Bird flung out of that slingshot at perfect trajectory! An idea was born: Nehemiah and the Angry Birds.
Nehemiah was a man with a plan. He was a man who saw a need and moved. He was a man of INITIATIVE.
Nehemiah had God on his side in big ways, and yet his task rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem was still not an easy one. Sure, it may have seemed easy at first. The king agreed to let him go, gave him letters for safe passage and supplies, provided him with guards for protection. When he arrived in Jerusalem, people were happy to join his team and begin the good work.
The girls doing good work, building their wall.
But once the work began, things got tough. The middle is always the hardest part, isn’t it? When a project begins, everyone is excited and motivated; when the end is in sight, energy is reignited; but it’s the hard work of the middle that often gets us down.
This is especially true when we are trying to rebuild walls in our own worlds. When we are tackling an issue that others have ignored or attempted and failed. You see, the world doesn’t want us to succeed in destroying darkness. The world will come at us, flinging Angry Birds at full force in the form of mockery, deception, and even physical harm. Nehemiah experienced all of these things. Sanballat and Tobiah ridiculed him for his efforts (4:1-2). Nehemiah prayed to God for help and continued building. But when the people heard that the wall was progressing, they “plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.” (4:7-8) Again, Nehemiah turned to God. Still, the people tried to scheme and deceive and spread rumors (6:1-9).
The Angry Birds of the world.
We shared with the children on Sunday that they can expect the same in their lives. When they try to work on a wall in their lives, to do good – to stand up for someone who is being bullied, to obey when others are misbehaving, to choose not to follow the crowd – their peers and sometimes even their friends will make it hard. And sometimes continuing will feel impossible. Our spark can be blown out when we take it into the hurricane winds of the world. Unless we are constantly refueling in Christ. Again and again, Nehemiah turned to God. He never stopped praying for God’s help and God never. stopped. answering.
This is such amazing encouragement! God’s generosity is poured out in our lives when we turn to him over and over again. It is not a one time deal. If we begin with God and leave Him in the middle, we will find ourselves left stuck right there in the muck. Our wall will never be complete. And that wall, whatever it may be, is oh-so-needed in this world!
Oh, our game. What fun we had building our walls! And what fun we had playing the enemy (just for pretend, just for a moment), flinging Angry Birds to knock walls down. We played boys vs. girls, and boy did they see each other as the enemy! Haha. The kids built their walls strategically and cheered for their teammates and desperately wanted their wall to be lasting. The energy was big and the joy was palpable.
Slinging our Angry Birds.
I hope your children came back to you happy and excited…and motivated to do something good. To move and build and keep at their good work.
And I can’t help but wonder…what’s your wall?
Love in Christ,
P.S. There is an Angry Birds movie being released next year! We may have to take a HopeKids trip to the theater. Here’s a link to the preview, in case you’re interested, just for fun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1U2DKKqxHgE