World’s Worst…or Best Birdhouse

Dear Big Box Store,

Birdhouse

Birdhouse

I want to thank you for the important life lessons you inadvertently sold disguised as a birdhouse. At first I’ll admit I was a bit stunned when I opened up the birdhouse kit to put it together with my daughters (side note, we’ll deal with this whole boy toy/girl toy labeling later). The instructions seemed simple enough. The package promised to teach children engineering skills. So I jumped right in.

We started by laying out the pieces so I could show them how to follow instructions, how to lay out a project and how to take pride in making something yourself. I’ll admit I was confused at first when none of the pieces really matched up to what was supposed to be in the package. You almost fooled me when the two matching side pieces were actually different sizes. I’ll admit to being flabbergasted when the front and back pieces were not actually the same size. I was downright confused when the bottom was far too small to fit the side or back pieces and the roof pieces were beveled in the wrong direction.

Then I realized, this wasn’t just a horribly assembled, cheaply constructed project. You sneaky devils had much bigger plans for this project.

The first was a very practical engineering lesson…kudos. I must have thrown away the secondary parental instruction sheet with the actual wording of the life lesson on it, but don’t worry I winged it. I was able to teach the girls when the pieces you have to work with don’t exactly fit – Improvise.

Improvisation saved Apollo 13 didn’t it? I thought the engineering skills were going to basic, but no Mr. Big Box Store…you were out to teach kids NASA level improvisation. When my girls are rocket scientists you can have the pride of saying it all started with your birdhouse kit, (even though you somehow left any girls out of the picture on how the packaging).

Next, came the life lesson. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense. The circumstances are not what we expected; there are times when the pieces don’t fit together. We could get mad and walk away. We could swear at the people we blame for our situation. We could give up. Or…we could press forward. Sure it may not be easy, but life isn’t always easy.

Sometimes we think that our life will go one way and then we get hit with a curve ball. The piece doesn’t fit. Does that mean that piece should be thrown out or should we find a way to make the pieces, and people and circumstances work with us? Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a way to get out of a situation…a big gap left from misshapen pieces of wood in a birdhouse kit or maybe it is the job that we didn’t get right away. We could settle and say nothing will work and we are just doomed, or we could turn the pieces around and find a way to make something out of it. Work the job that may not be the one we wanted until we can find a way to get the one we should have. Do not throw away people who may not fit with our life plan; instead incorporate them into our life.

And you know what? It may not be pretty right away. It may look a little weird. But it is a birdhouse and when we put it outside, the birds will come and this little house will be a home for a bird family. Life is the same way. We are not meant to be perfect. We are meant to be…to live…to make mistakes…to get messy…and to learn from all of it. In the end, if we take all the imperfections in stride, we can be the people God intended for us to be and live out our purpose.

And if all else fails…use glue. Lot of glue.

So thank you for the life lesson birdhouse kit. Your labeling (including adding a girl on there) needs updating. I really think it will sell better if you let parents know that there is so much more than a birdhouse inside.

Sincerely,
Phil