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Step forward, lead with positive leadership

Spring issued an invitation to come outside last Saturday, and Othel and I accepted the prompting. We didn’t let much of the morning expire before we were dressed in work clothes and were busy in retrieving our backyard from the layers of leaves and sticks winter left us.

The week of rains had layered soaked leaves over most of my perennials, but I heard their cry for help. I uncovered refreshing signs of spring that were waiting to be rescued from the soggy blanket of leaves and twigs.

The weather was so enticing that we decided to skip the usual indoor lunch for a picnic on the back porch. The warm sun soaked into our backs as we ate grilled hotdogs while enjoying the emerging spring.

In the middle of my hotdog consumption, I noticed one of our hungry feathered friends. A petite, maybe three-inch bird darted near the birdfeeder hanging about ten feet away. He flew toward the feeding rest but quickly flew past to a tree branch further away. We, his imagined predators, were too close.

Still, the sight of the free blue plate special kept calling, and he kept flying close — only to let fear rob him of a meal. He would get so close but always retreat to a safer distance.

Suddenly a three and a half-inch bird of another variety zipped toward the feeder and landed without hesitation on one of the three feeder rests. Immediately his small beak pulled a lunch of seeds from the feeder.

That was assurance enough for the timid, fearful bird to muster up enough courage to join his brave friend. Together they dined on lunch near us.

I wanted to applaud the brave bird for his courage and fearless nature but knew that would have immediately suspended their meal. Instead, I thought about what his leadership meant for his intimidated friend.

We humans are just like my feathered visitors. We often are frightened or fearful until someone steps forward and gives us the courage to follow — to rout the threats we might have imagined.

There there’s the negative leadership. We feel uncomfortable or unsure of a questionable activity or decision until we see someone else — someone we respect, indulging in that same activity or decision. Suddenly we rationalize: If it’s okay for them, it must be okay for me.

Birds are limited to their bird brains. God’s children are blessed with the indwelling Holy Spirit for guidance. According to the Bible, trusting in the Lord gives us the ability to soar on “wings like eagles,” and that’s always the height of leadership.

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to camilleanding@gmail.com.