Even feathers have things to teach us!
We all have things in common
Every feather has a hollow base where it attaches to muscle, a stiff central shaft, main branches attached to the central shaft (barbs), and a fluffy section where the barbs don’t interlock. Without the bird, the feather is useless (unless it becomes part of a down comforter or jacket, of course!).
Every person is created with a body, soul, and spirit. And just as a feather is only a small part of the bird, each of us is created to be part of something much bigger than ourselves.
Each of us has a purpose
Even on the same bird there are different kinds of feathers, created with different shapes and features.
- Wing feathers have barbs that attach to one another like velcro to form a windproof surface in order to make flight possible. They are usually asymmetrical, which aids in aerodynamics.
- Tail feathers also have interlocking barbs which create a smooth surface to help birds steer while flying.
- Contour feathers have interlocking barbs as well, but these feathers cover the bird’s body and help to keep the bird dry.
- Semiplume and down feathers are closer to the bird’s body. Their looser structure helps trap body heat and keep the bird warm.
Interlocking feather barbs
What were you created to do? What comes easily to you that other people have to work hard for?
- Are you impervious to the winds of change or chaos, providing stability for others?
- Do you help to lift others up? Are you a visionary, helping to steer others to greater good?
- Do you find yourself often protecting or standing up for others?
- Are you gracious and generous, meeting others’ needs from what God has given you?
Whatever your strengths, God made you that way! Use those gifts to His glory, living out your worship and thanks to Him in the way you serve others.
Paul tells us in Romans 12:1, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”
If you are a follower of Christ, you need to be part of a body of believers where you will be encouraged, strengthened, and even challenged to grow in your faith. Don’t be a useless feather, “blown here and there by every wind of teaching!” (Ephesians 4:14)
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