Lesson from Nature: Help or Harm?


The holes were huge. This was no normal woodpecker. It had to be a mammoth woodpecker on steroids. Okay, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. Actually, I did a bit of googling and am pretty sure the holes were created by pileated woodpeckers. Who knew a woodpecker could be so large?! According to Wikipedia, “Adults are 40 to 49 cm (16 to 19 in) long, span 66 to 75 cm (26 to 30 in) across the wings and weigh 250 to 400 g (8.8 to 14.1 oz), with an average weight of 300 g (11 oz). Each wing measures 21.4 to 25.3 cm (8.4 to 10.0 in), the tail measures 14 to 17.4 cm (5.5 to 6.9 in), the bill is 4.1–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) and the tarsus measures 3.1–3.8 cm (1.2–1.5 in).”

How does a woodpecker that has a beak with a pretty small tip make that kind of a hole?

One peck at a time.

We can do a lot of damage, one peck at a time. We can also make huge strides, one peck at a time. We need to know which we are doing…destroying or constructing…because sometimes it’s difficult to see the difference.

Is the woodpecker harming the tree, or is it creating a place to live? Yes. Both.

What are you doing with the choices you’re making on a daily basis?

Think about the things you do over and over. What is that repetition accomplishing? Is it something helpful or harmful? Is it helpful for you but harmful to others, or vice versa? Don’t convince yourself that you can’t accomplish much, either harm or help, with the small, insignificant choices you’re making. It doesn’t take long for a series of small, insignificant choices to have big, significant results.

Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

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