The Number One Secret of Great Birders

The first time I joined an organized field trip with my local Audubon Society, I discovered a secret about being a birder. Great birders fall. Literally.

Our eyes are on the skies and the tops of trees. We don’t focus on the pothole or the branch lying across the path, we watch the action above. The first time I discovered this was on a gravely slope in Johnson County, Texas while trying to find the source of the guttural call of a Sandhill crane.

I was red with embarrassment. While reaching out to help me up, the leader gave me sage advice.  “Get use to it. It’s what great birders do.”

Over the years of chasing rare birds there have been numerous slips and trips. It’s just inevitable.

My walk with Christ is no different.

English: Drawing of a falling/floating man

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My eyes are on Him but that hasn’t guaranteed my feet are always firmly grounded. There are times I slip off the path or slide on dangerous ground. But, like the leader on my first field trip, God stretches out His hand. He doesn’t laugh or condemn. He doesn’t give up and walk away. He reaches out and helps me up. His Word gives me comfort and take away the sting.

I haven’t stopped birding just because I might trip. And, I don’t stop following Him just because I might fail.

Have you had a fall and found Him reaching out with a comforting hand?


  1. I love this. Great analogy. One of your best. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. This made me smile. I’ve taken a few tumbles on group birding trips, but I am not ready to call myself “great” quite yet.
    That is a beautiful analogy. Your post reminded me of this verse. Psalm 37: 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

    1. PERFECT verse for my falls.

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