Here I am again observing behavior in my animals that reminds me of my own real life issues.
These chickens. Please enjoy this video. (Also lets give a round of applause to Jesse for helping me with this video. He was on his way to work and I said, “Please! I need you to open the door so I can video the chickens today! It will take two minutes! I promise!” Well, he changed shoes and headed to the barn only to be met with the fact that the dogs were fighting over a dead rat that Gizmo killed. It is hard to get a kill away from them, but you learn to do it or else you see that rat again at 2 AM because they are throwing it up on your bedroom floor. Can I get an AMEN? So the whole video-ing thing took longer than two minutes, sorry honey!)
Ok so, my point is this. These chickens squawk at me while I am letting my sweet duck out, while I am feeding the baby goats, and they squawk at me while I am feeding the big goats. They use their most impressive voices and puff out there chest all in an attempt to intimidate me into opening their coop first. To which I say, “You are not the boss of me and until you can use kind words you will be last to get let out.” To which they say, “SQUAWK!” because they don’t care that kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. They are geared up, jockeying for position and biting each other to get out the door first. Then, when I finally open the door, OFF THEY RUN! I was watching them a few days ago and just wondered where are they going in such a rush? They don’t have a plan or direction they just follow each other and run. They are just “in a hurry to get things done,” like Alabama sings about. And then you know WHO whispered in my ear, “weren’t you just praying about feeling rushed, and you didn’t know why?”
Oh my gosh, it hit me like a ton of bricks. My natural bent is to be like the chickens. Just running with no direction. No real destination but dammit I’m making good time.
My thoughts are like the chicken run.
My plans are like the chicken run.
My comfort zone is the chicken run.
“Just go, just get it done, faster, more stuff, business, don’t stop,” are what makes up the chorus of my theme song, in my natural state of being.
But Jesus, Jesus comes in and gets in the way of my chicken run and says, “Where are you going in such a hurry?” “My daughter, you cannot walk in the Spirit and do the chicken run. A fruit of the spirit is self-control, and another is peace, when I see you running the chicken race you look like you are walking in the flesh because I see selfish ambitions, jealousies and bursts of wrath from you, turn around and follow me back to walking in the Spirit because that is a safer place for you.” Over and over again He reminds me of this. Over and over again I have gotten lost in the flesh that tells me go faster, work harder, fight more, get ahead of everyone else, and over and over he gets in my way and looks me in the eyes and says, “Stop being a chicken running for no reason, you are a daughter of the King, not a chicken.”
And so, I try to go back to walking in the Spirit. And I try to capture the thoughts that tell me “hurry up!” In fact, in God’s humor, or in His good Mercy He gave me a husband who can’t stand to be told “HURRY UP!” And just to be sure I got the joke, He gave me two kids who actually freeze up when you shout, “HURRY UP!” (Side note: both of my kids had to have speech intervention because of stuttering. And BOTH speech pathologists said, “Mrs. Griffith, they don’t start stuttering until you get here. You HAVE to stop when they are talking to you and look them in the face, otherwise they feel too hurried to get the words out. Got it, thanks!)
What I have learned is that walking in the Spirit is not the absence of “things to do.” If it was as easy as “do-less-stuff” everyone would do that. (one more side note: You know what my most hated phrase is? “Stop doing so much stuff!” Oh my gosh, thank you, you just solved all my problems! Why didn’t I think of that? I’ll just sit here and do less stuff, but can you do me a favor? When my head blows up from my anxiety will you mop up the floor? Because we have already established that we don’t need to let the dogs eat things like that. Great, thank you.)
Walking in the Spirit is this beautiful dance of learning how to just be with God and let Him direct your steps. Now some people are going to read that and go, “Oh really? It must be nice to just let the wind blow you one way or another, but I have a job and responsibilities and things I have to do. But that is exactly what I mean. It is this awareness in your daily life of the Spirit. I am learning that when I have that feeling of “Hurry up!” that is when I look to the Lord. I say to Him, “Lord I don’t want to do the chicken run, help me re-center and not just be running for no reason.” I do this over and over and over. I am turning into a “hurry up” detective in my own life. I am starting to become repulsed by being in a hurry. I as myself, “Am I running the chicken race here?” That is all Jesus prompting me, and teaching me how to get out of the chicken race. The schedule has not changed but the heart has. And when the heart changes that makes all the difference. Say no the chicken race! SQUAWK!!!