For a long time I have used an old saying that’s really old. Many have never heard of this saying, but it illustrates a very important principle in working with individuals and the progress they make toward change. This is the saying. “ONE SWALLOW DOESN’T MAKE A SUMMER.” Many of you are wondering, “Is Jim off his rocker?” “Has he lost his mind?” “Has he been drinking too much punch?” Well, none of these are true–I hope.
A swallow is a barn swallow, a bird that looks like a sparrow and flies south during the winter, only to come back in the spring. When this saying was written, barn swallows would fly into San Juan Capistrano, California in the spring of the year and build their mud nests under eaves of houses, or under bridges and hatch their young in the mud nests. Millions of them would come and make messes all over the town. When you see one swallow fly into town, summer is not here. It correlates with one positive action taken by someone wanting to change a destructive pattern in their life. That one action doesn’t mean that permanent change has occurred. But it is one swallow. When you see 100,000 fly into town in one day, summer has arrived. In the same way, when you see consistent positive patterns being demonstrated by someone who is committed to change, you can be assured that new attitudes and actions are the norm for the day.
Nadine and I were going on a bike ride on Saturday and under a couple of bridges that we pass on our ride, I noticed the swallows are back. They’re back. I took one picture with the mother in her nest as she sits on her eggs waiting for them to hatch.
If you look closely in the right mud nest, you will see a little yellow beak, the mother patiently waiting for the little ones to emerge from their eggs. It always amazes me how God created so many different creatures with unique ways of raising their young. This, to my limited knowledge of animal habitat, is the only one that builds mud nests up high under bridges or eaves to bring forth young. They come back during March and repeat this making mud nests and raising young year after year.
Something else is also back. This is the time of year where we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus was God in the flesh, walked among us and then gave himself for us on the cross, only to rise the third day. By placing our trust in Christ, our sins will be washed away and we can experience connection with the God who created the barn swallow and every other creature on the face of this earth.
On this journey, I find myself coming back to the cross and being so appreciative of what Christ Jesus did for me and for you. Like the barn swallow who came back this year and does so every year, we have the opportunity to come back to the Savior.
Great thoughts, Jim!