Friday, August 12, 2016

Pearl...


I have six hens.  Pearl is my dumbest hen.  
I've learned a lot about chickens in my time as a backyard chicken farmer.  They're chicken...as in scared, they aren't terribly smart and with the exception of the hen at the top of the pecking order, they’re followers.  They're fast, they're twitchy, they squawk a lot, and they can destroy a patch of lawn in no time flat.
Pearl is a special kind of dumb, she is near the bottom, if not on the bottom of the pecking order. She is a poor follower.  
She is chicken—the most chicken hen I have. 
When I enter the pen, she starts running to get away from me, sometimes running towards me. Realizing her mistake, she changes directions abruptly, squawking a warning of my aggression to her coop-mates, all of whom understand that I will be throwing them scratch.  They flock around my feet in anticipation.  When I throw scratch to her, she runs away, frightened.
Dumb hen.
Lately, I've been letting the ladies out of the pen to feast on bugs, worms, green leafys and other goodies.  They generally stick close by and close together.
Even Pearl knows the drill—until it's time to go back into the pen.
After a few hours of scratching and nibbling and bathing in soft, dry dirt, the ladies are ready for a handful of scratch and the comforts of home.  I call them back into the pen.  They come running.  Into the coop they go--all, that is, except for Pearl.  She always get's "stuck" outside the fence.  She runs back and forth, back and forth, back and forth...
"Where's the door...I can't find the door!" she squawks.  She's in full panic mode.  Running, running, running. 
I say "Oh my gosh, you're so dumb!"  I grab a little handful of scratch to give her a trail to the door.  It doesn't work.  She's too dumb to figure it out.
"It's over here!" I say, moving away from the door to give her room to come in without feeling threatened by my presence.  Nope, she continues to panic.  She's sure the door is on the other side of the pen...but where did it go?  I usually give up after about 5 minutes of coaxing.  By then the others have eaten most of the scratch.  I go into the house and let her panic alone.  The other hens watch her, it's no wonder she's on the bottom of the pecking order.
It's a dance we do every single time they are allowed out of the coop.
And I wonder. 
Am I like Pearl?  When God wants to give me something, do I rely on my own ideas or thoughts or wisdom to find it?  Am I listening when He opens a door and says "Go right in and feast?"  Do I say "NO, you don't understand, the door is over here...this is the right way!"
The door to my chicken coop is around a corner from where Pearl runs back and forth.  It takes a good amount of trust for a chicken hen to go around a corner—especially if the hen is as chicken as Pearl.  It takes a good amount of trust for me to step out of my own knowledge of what the situation is and trust God's plan for my life.  I have to believe that He knows more (duh).  Why do I question and hesitate or turn the other way?  I rely on myself, rejecting God's wisdom.
I don't want to be a Pearl.  I want to go through doors the second they're opened; to reap the bounty of God's goodness; to step out in faith and not be so "chicken". Thankfully God doesn't stand by the door saying "OH my gosh, you're so dumb!"  He patiently waits for me to stop being so Pearl-like!
I'm working on it, God is good, the opportunities to grow in faith are endless and daily and I pray that someday I won't relate to creatures like Pearl!  

Isaiah 55:8-9  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
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