Les­sons From the Flock: Stay fo­cused, be nour­ished

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - NEWS - Gene Linzey — Gene Linzey is a speaker, au­thor, men­tor and pres­i­dent of the Siloam Springs Writ­ers Guild. Send com­ments and ques­tions to mas­ters.ser­vant@cox.net. The opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor.

“What are they do­ing out there?”

I was pour­ing a cup of cof­fee — my first one of the day — and had my back to Carol.

“What are who do­ing out where?”

“You have to look and see.”

It was around 7:15 in the morn­ing and I had al­ready gone out to let the girls (chick­ens) out of the coop. As I pre­pared their mix of good­ies, they fol­lowed me so closely that I nearly stum­bled over them. Goldie and Elona pecked my britches as a sign to pick them up and love them a lit­tle — which I did. Then, as they be­gan gob­bling up the morn­ing meal, I re­turned to the house where my cof­fee was wait­ing.

As I set my cup down, Carol reached for her cam­era to take a video of what was tak­ing place. I be­gan laugh­ing. I had seen this many times pre­vi­ously but had never seen it from Carol’s view point.

Goldie had en­tered the coop but left it within a few sec­onds. Whitey was walk­ing to­ward the en­trance of the coop. When Goldie walked out, Whitey en­tered, but quickly ex­ited and stood at the en­trance. Red Head was pac­ing a few feet away.

“Elona must be on the nest, Pre­cious, and the other girls are wait­ing. No one will go in to make their de­posit un­til Elona leaves the nest. Then it looks like Whitey will be next.”

“That doesn’t make sense. Even if she’s on the nest, there are four more nests avail­able. “Why don’t they use the other nests?”

I poured milk into my cof­fee to cool it and to give it a bet­ter fla­vor. I don’t like black cof­fee. I don’t like it hot, ei­ther.

“That’s hu­man logic, Pre­cious, but not nec­es­sar­ily bird logic. Re­mem­ber when Goldie be­came a brooder and sat on 21 eggs?”

“Yes. All four birds laid the eggs in one nest.”

“They still do that quite of­ten.”

“But Fred has been gone for 11 months now; do they think they can raise an­other flock?”

(Fred was the rooster.) “Who knows? I can fig­ure out part of their think­ing, but not all of it. All I can say is the girls seem to be wait­ing in line un­til it’s their turn to pay their dues.”

“You mean, lay their eggs. I didn’t know chick­ens could be so pa­tient. Look!”

Elona walked out, and Whitey en­tered. Goldie moved up and stood at the en­trance — Red Head con­tin­ued pac­ing a few feet away. She would go last.

Putting her cam­era down, Carol fi­nally said, “When it comes to eat­ing, they will grab worms, cock­roaches, moths and other choice morsels from each other’s beaks; and Elona and Goldie fight each other vy­ing for your at­ten­tion. But when it comes to tak­ing dust baths or lay­ing eggs, they pa­tiently wait in line? I don’t get it.”

“I don’t know if it is about pa­tience; it might be a mat­ter of be­ing fo­cused.”

I told Carol that yes­ter­day, Goldie and Red Head were chas­ing Elona all over the quar­ter-acre back­yard try­ing to get the night-crawler away from her. Fo­cused on that worm, they cor­nered Elona, and all three birds man­aged to eat a por­tion of that 7-inch fish-bait.

The birds know how to be fo­cused. God pro­grammed that into them. As they me­an­der around the yard, they are al­ways on the alert for a bug — ei­ther fly­ing or creep­ing. Some­times one of them will half-run and half-fly all the way across the yard, leap or fly up sev­eral feet and grab a but­ter­fly that is fly­ing low. Now THAT’S be­ing fo­cused!

Is there some­thing we can learn from our flock? Yes.

Not able to fo­cus on eter­nal val­ues, chick­ens are fo­cused on what will keep them alive. But it’s dif­fer­ent with hu­mans. What are you fo­cused on? Fun? Per­sonal gain? En­ter­tain­ment? Vo­ca­tional ad­vance­ment? Vengeance? Dis­ap­point­ments? None of that will help you when you stop breath­ing.

Philip­pi­ans 3:13b-14 says, “I fo­cus on this one thing: For­get­ting the past and look­ing for­ward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and re­ceive the heav­enly prize for which God, through Christ Je­sus, is call­ing us. (NLT)”

The prize the Apos­tle Paul is fo­cused on is eter­nal life with God by liv­ing for and hon­or­ing Je­sus Christ.

We must ful­fill our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties on earth, but let’s stay fo­cused on hon­or­ing our Heav­enly Fa­ther by obey­ing our Lord, Je­sus Christ.

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