In an attempt to beautify my “outdoor living space”, I recently installed a new birdfeeder on the corner of my deck. Within minutes, birds of every variety and color were coming to visit. It was so incredible to watch them flitting about, carefully regarding me thru the dining room windows. A pair of cardinals live behind my house in the trees, so I was thrilled when they both began showing up for dinner at the new birdfeeder!
With great anticipation one morning, I carefully opened the blinds of my floor-to-ceiling windows and “what to my wondering eyes should appear,” (as the story goes), but a big fat TURKEY sitting on the deck railing eating all the bird seed! In my mind at that moment, he stood for the 11-member flock that inhabits my backyard from April to November — in spite of all my efforts to discourage them.
I’ve taught my Cavalier Spaniel to rush onto the deck when I cry “Turkey!” I’ve tried rampaging out the door flashing my bright orange umbrella with the white polka dots shouting “Shoo! Shoo!” My kids even bought me a super-shooter, which is of course non-lethal! Nothing deters those turkeys from gorging themselves on my birdseed as I stand helplessly on the other side of the windows.
But then I started thinking as I carefully guarded the birdfeeder. Most things in life have a spiritual application if we look for it. Jesus told many real-life stories to illustrate spiritual truths that could be easily understood. So, I began to wonder might be the application I could draw from this frustrating situation? Suddenly it came to me! Sometimes big fat ugly “turkeys” appear in our lives. They seem to show up where they are least wanted, strutting into our days and disrupting our well-laid plans. They often consume our resources, and sometimes they don’t leave no matter what we try!
We probably all have our list of “turkeys” we’ve compiled along the way. They represent those situations that come into our lives uninvited, and they rarely come alone. The biggest “turkey” to show up in my life was undoubtedly the death of my husband. That one brought many friends with him: loneliness, fear, loss of purpose, insecurity and even a faith struggle. I didn’t ask for that, and I surely couldn’t remove it! But I realized I didn’t have to stand helplessly by and let that situation rob me of all my inner resources! Just like the turkey at my birdfeeder frightening away the lovely songbirds, this situation threatened to scare away everything wonderful and beautiful in my life. It was trying to consume all my inner resources.
In the same way that I’ve had to learn to deal with the turkey at my birdfeeder…and his family in the yard…I’ve had to gradually learn how to deal with living joyfully in this new season. It’s not an easy journey; every new day is a new challenge. But I have a choice. I can be fearful and intimidated and live out my days in hopelessness, or I can choose to put my faith and hope in Father God, who continually sustains me and gives me peace.
Lest you think I’ve given in, please know that I’ve been researching how to keep turkeys out of your yard! It seems that one of the strategies is to get your neighbors to agree with you to not feed them. That sounds suspiciously like a parable to me! You know, one of those stories Jesus told about everyday life that had a spiritual application? So, we join together with others who can help us shoo the “turkeys” away from our “birdfeeders” as we plan new strategies and learn to protect the seed God has put into our lives to nourish those around us.
Have a wonderful day! And don’t forget to help those around you shoo the “turkeys” away!