John James Audubon (1785-1851) was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter, most famous for his collection of paintings of birds. His precision was such that his books are still used today as field guides and resources.
John Audubon practiced great self-mastery in order to learn all he could about birds. A colleague said of him “Mr Audubon is the most enthusiastic and indefatigable man I ever knew. He was never dispirited by heat, fatigue, or bad luck.”
To study nighthawks, he discounted his physical comforts as nothing. He rose at midnight night after night, to go into the swamps to study nighthawks in their natural environment. He crouched motionless in the dark and fog, hoping to discover just one more fact about the species. One summer he stood almost to his neck in smelly, stagnant water, scarcely breathing, in order to observe a shy water bird, while poisonous water moccasin snakes swam past.
It certainly wasn’t pleasant or comfortable, but when questioned by a reporter, he said, “But what of that? I have the picture!!!”
John Audubon endured all these things and much more for the sake of a picture of a bird.
If a man can be so disciplined for such a comparatively flimsy reward
HOW MUCH MORE COMMITTED SHOULD WE CHRISTIANS BE
for the rich rewards bestowed on us now
and for the imperishable prize before us?
In the words of Paul . . .
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
Yet indeed, I count ALL THINGS as loss
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and count them as rubbish,
that I may gain Christ, And be found in Him,
not having my own righteousness which is from the law,
but that which is through faith in Christ.
* What “comforts” am I willing to give up?
* What “unpleasantness” am I willing to endure?
* What time am I willing to spend in the service of the King of kings?
* What will I freely and willingly surrender?
* Am I willing to “count ALL THINGS as LOSS” as did Paul?
* Do I really want to be the hands and feet and voice and love of Christ to the people I meet?