Yes, this Spring my husband and I decided to try raising chickens. Not that we know anything, but you can take chicken classes and read chicken books.
Of course, we all know chickens can’t fly. Well, they can’t fly very high or very far. They’re bred that way. Unless you get a particularly athletic chicken, in which case you can humanely trim their wings back. But, chickens don’t know they can’t fly…so they keep trying to, which is a comical sight to watch: half hop, half fly, half run act.
What’s the point? What does this have to do with Christian women?
How many of us have thought we could do something, all on our own, without knowing any better? Or perhaps we suffer from grand delusions that we’re eagles, when we’re really earth-bound chickens. Another version is to assume we’re top of the pecking order…ruling over our own lives and all the other hens with an iron claw, because we can hen peck others into submission. Some chickens are just, well, chicken. We’re constantly in jumpy fear of what’s going to harm us, or others, and cluck the sky is falling, there’s no escaping. Or, maybe we DO know better, that we can’t fly on our own, but gosh darn it, we’re going to defy gravity and flap our wings as hard as we can until we’re one completely faint, pooped out chicken.
What does your “defying gravity” moment look like? “I’ll just keep flapping my wings and go nowhere.” Or, “I’m out of here. I’m flying the coop.”Do we have to rule the roost at all times? Do we have to run for cover at the slightest provocation? “Incoming!” That’s ME. My friend the therapist calls that catastrophizing. Good word. Are we stuck in comparison mode, “How come all these sparrows can fly, and why oh, why can’t I?” to paraphrase a song. Are we busy defending ourselves against predators (in the chickens’ case, the neighborhood tom cat), and all our energy is spent on self-preservation?
Thank God we can’t fly on our own. Thank God He loves us, in spite of being chickens. I can imagine being safe and protected beneath His wings. I can see Him fiercely protect me against predators. I can see Him play Mother hen when I suffer grand delusions, have to be in control of everything, make petty comparisons, or run for cover.
We’ve heard or read the verse before, Isaiah 40:31, “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (NIV).” We are chickens, in our own strength, on our own attempts to fly solo when we can’t. We’re certainly not going to get very far on our own. It is only through Him, and His strength, that we can soar like eagles.
By Jodi Decker