Laresa Watkins

A Lesson from the Coop

Apr 21, 2015

So, here we are in spring…we made it, people!  Well, at least in the south we have made it. I love this season of color and thunderstorms in the afternoon. I know some people are still dealing with winter, and I am truly sorry for that.

This picture of the kids on Easter should cheer you up.  Aren’t they precious?  They are holding the stuffed chickens their gramma gave them. These chickens go everywhere we go!

Speaking of chickens…as the days have grown longer, we have begun letting our chickens out of their coop.  The kids and I (and Jason, even though he would be reluctant to admit it) love watching them fly out of their coop door one after another with a big squawk and a flap of their wings.  They immediately begin pecking away at fresh grass and clawing at the ground in search of bugs, obviously thrilled to be out of their enclosure.

I enjoy being outside with the hens, and I think they like us.  When we go out, they tend to follow us to whatever part of the yard we are in.

I also spend my fair share of time chasing them around with my broom, trying to redirect them away from my flower beds.  That is quite a sight for the people passing by, I’m sure!

One thing I have noticed about our chickens is that they aren’t the smartest of animals.  There are always a couple of hens that don’t quite make it out the door for one reason or another. Maybe they’re busy eating at their old feeder when I open the door or they’re getting a last swallow of water before their big adventure, but they are left behind by the other chickens.  Instead of just waddling over to the obviously open door and going through it to find their friends, they run wildly around the coop, frantically searching for their group of hens.  When they do find them, they remain stuck in the coop, looking through the chicken wire at the other girls happily pecking and scratching in the yard.  They continue to circle around the coop trying to figure out why they are stuck inside with a dry, dirt floor that has been picked clean of all living things, while the rest of the hens are on new, fresh ground.

After a lot of anguish (on their part and mine) they eventually find their way out and happily join their friends.

I have to admit…I can see a bit of myself in my hens.  I wonder how much time I spend stuck inside a dry, dead area, longing for more but not seeing the open door in my frantic state.

Upon some reflection, I realize that I spent much of last year like this.  If you remember, I began 2015 with a specific prayer and vision.  I wanted to move from the state of yearning for more that I seemed to be in, and instead see doors that were open all around me, right where I am.

Let me tell you, God answered my prayer in a big way.  There were so many opportunities that I was missing out on, and I didn’t even see them.  Things I was already doing, but not doing like God was calling me to do.  Ministries I have that I was neglecting because I thought they weren’t good enough or big enough.  Like one of my not-so-brilliant hens, I was running around frantically trying to get where I wanted to be, and I was missing the opportunities around me.

Is there an opportunity for ministry that you are missing? Do you have a neighbor that needs a visit and cookie, or a friend who needs a cup of coffee and some of your time, or a program at your church that needs a volunteer? Or maybe you just need to change your perspective about a ministry that you already have. (Psssssstttt-To my mama-friends…..your kids are a ministry!)

2 Timothy 2:15 says,  “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” (NLT)

It’s so, so easy to get busy doing everyday things, to get into an inflexible schedule of waking and working and cleaning and appointments.  It seems simpler to just go about our business without adding any extra stops or expenses or meetings.  But what if we all just looked for that one open door? What if we all asked God to show us one person in our community who needs to be shown Jesus’ love?

Maybe the world would be a lot different.

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