cagedRecently I was reading an article, and don’t ask me why, that contained a question and answer section. The question presented was from a bird owner who was inquiring about how to get her bird back into the cage at night. It seems that every night the bird would do its best to fly away and because of this the owner would have to get a towel, spread it wide, and coax the bird back towards the cage. If this didn’t work they would have to actually throw the towel over the bird so that they could get it into the cage for the night. “How do I get the bird back into the cage?”

Suddenly, as I was reading my mind instantly started thinking about cages and the Christian. I wonder how many times our adversary has asked this question? “How do I get them back into the cage?” We are fools if we don’t realize that every waking moment of our lives there is an adversary whose desire is to return us to the stocks and bonds we came out of. It was a great day when we were buried in baptism into His name and received the glorious gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a wonderful day when cage doors came swinging open and the blinding darkness of our condition was rent and the light exploded into our lives.

With tentative and wobbly steps of a little child we walked away from that despairing cage of disbelief and death. Each step was further from the restrictive confines that refused us growth and nourishment. Every muscle in the body stretched and lengthened, bones cracked and popped, as the body responded to the unrestricted environment around it. Like a fresh shoot breaking through the confines of soil to bask in the rays of the sun for the first time. Oh the warmth, the splendor, the joy, and the power of liberty from the cage of condemnation! Yet every single day our adversary wants us to return to that terrible cage! He wants us back in the bonds and chains of oppression.

As I continued to read the article, the answer that was given was incredible!

The BAD news is that your parrot is very close to losing it’s complete trust in you.

I would guess in the very near future unless you fix this problem you will have TRAINED your parrot to actually HATE your hands.  Or you will have trained the very common condition people refer to as ‘Random Biting’, where your bird starts to bite you for no reason at all… more on that in a second.

I know you’re not trying to do this, and you’re trying to get your bird to go back without having to resort to FORCEFUL interactions… but whenever a person continually uses their hands or objects to FORCE their parrot to do something it does not want to do, it creates what I like to call the ‘Siren Effect’.

What is the ‘Siren Effect’?

You know that sinking feeling you get whenever a policeman pulls out right behind you blaring his lights when you know you were speeding?  It’s kind of that helpless, angry, ticked off feeling?

The reason you feel that way is because you’ve been CONDITIONED to feel that way.  Because almost every time a policeman pulls behind you, sirens blazing, you usually get a ticket that costs you money… and it’s a bit painful on the wallet.

It’s a type of Emotional Conditioning that has trained you to HATE sirens behind you, maybe even hate cops, depending on how unfairly treated you felt.  And it happened by pairing sirens with BAD feelings for your whole life.

So how does that relate to birds?

Whenever you are making your bird do something that it doesn’t want to do, what you are actually training it to do is to look for signals that predict that it is about to have a NEGATIVE experience.  Just like you might look for cop cars parked near over passes to not get a speeding ticket.

I bet your parrot hates that towel right?  That’s a signal that it is GOING to experience something negative for sure.

It is no accident that scripture tells us “NO MARVEL,” that Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light! Our adversary understands that he cannot grab us and drag us towards that cage we came out of. Instead, he works with the subtle tricks of a master magician. His goal is to get us back into the cage without us ever knowing we have returned. And then it is too late.

I am saddened that in our generation many of us are being coaxed back into the very cage we came out of. We are learning to love the hands that we should hate. We are no longer hearing the sirens, the flashing lights, or the speed traps set to hinder our progress. There is a lullaby that is singing so many to sleep. Each step towards the cage, each treat and temptation that we wondrously partake of, is conditioning our return to the cage.

How many of us are on the threshold of the door of that cage? How many of us, instead of seeing bars and bondage, see nothing more than the sweet and succulent treat in its center? Every single day children are enticed into the grasp of predators through the guise of fun, sweets, and kind disposition. Many of the worst of the serial killers America has known were just normal men with charismatic personalities that made people feel at ease and comfortable in their presence.

Just allow the light to dim slowly…in stages…and the eyes will acclimate gradually without the brain sending the alarming signal. By the time darkness has come we have been lulled into sleep in the cage we had once been delivered from. It’s the danger of a weary spirit! It’s the danger of a weary mind! Things lose clarity and discernment is lacking when we miss the signals of deception.

And now the bird that chirped its pleasure and joy of liberty will never sing again. He will cling to the corners of the cage and eat what is placed inside. He may never feel the warm touch of a master’s hands or feel the exhilaration of wings spread in souring flight. Over time, long enough back in that cage, you can spring open the door and the bird will not even lift its head or take a single step. His cage has become his home, his song something of the yesterdays…”How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS:

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hillfor the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Maya Angelou

Don’t lose your song! Sing on still regardless of where you are! The night may seem to last forever but joy comes in the morning! If you are back in that cage again sing so that your Master can hear just as Paul and Silas did. Sing those songs of Zion! Sing those songs of freedom until once again the door springs open. Now soar on wings of Eagles; catch the torrential winds to take you past the treetops and into the atmosphere of clouds. NEVER…NEVER AGAIN…will I return to that cage.

(while I know this has lacked the usual writing luster of past posts, it was something strongly on my heart this morning. I pray it will be a blessing to those of you who will read.)