The Bird that Needs to Quit

stupid-birdA bird outside our window has been trying to get in—for months.

I understand that birds accidentally fly into windows. But this one sits on a bush outside the window and looks in. He knows the glass is there. And that it’s hard. But still he flies up and bangs into it, falls back to the bush, flies up to bang the glass again, falls back, and then bashes his beak again. Over and over. For months.

Is the bird stupid? Maybe psychotic, a psychotic bird in need of therapy. Or perhaps the bird has a great vision of a glorious life inside the cave we call our house, and he can’t let the vision go.

This gives me pause because most of the time I’m among those who encourage people to pursue their dreams, go for broke, achieve a vision.

Then I see this bird perpetually trying to break through a barrier it will never, ever, be able to crack open. If I could talk bird-talk, I’d tell the wing flapper to give it up. “Quit while you still have a life left, and pursue something for which you’ll actually have a chance.”

But I can’t, so I’m left to feel bad for the little fool who doesn’t know when to quit. The thought is painful to people like me who have long assumed quitting was for losers, and one should never give up. But I’ve come to know how foolish that can be.

Every winner, every person who’s ever accomplished anything, everyone who’s fulfilled what they were created to be, has had to quit something. It’s the only way.

Because of focus.

To become or achieve anything, a person (or even an animal) needs to focus. To focus, we absolutely must stop doing—that is, quit—other things that take away from our focus.

In pursuing dreams and vision, we must be wise enough to quit whatever we’re not made for or whatever endlessly gets in the way. Find another route to the goal. Alter the goal. Above all, discern whether the pursuit is God-given or just our trying to get somewhere we’re not meant to go.

That’s the way to get to where we are meant to go.