We are creatures of habit, are we not? Easily falling into the routines and rhythms that make up out lives, yet as the wonder in the rhythmic repetition wears thin, we fill with disdain, or boredom, or scrolling smart phones, lost in the humdrum of the daily grind. I felt that way, that Saturday when I loaded 170 pounds of chicken feed into the back of the beatup minivan, with 2 kiddos chattering along beside. Just another chore, to feed the hens. But happy hens make tasty eggs, I think, so feed them well and feed them often.
We bantered our way up the drive, and the children dashed off to join the others in a rousing game of whatever it was they were playing in that moment. And I might have missed that moment, thinking about the humdrum of the day and the chores to be done, the cooking and the cleaning and the digging and the mowing, as I dragged and hoisted and fumbled with 50 pound feed bags. Moments are so easily missed amidst the rhythm of life.
But something caught my eye, and it made the moment sparkle, just a bit of gleaming in that sun. It seems the flock had their eyes on that van, and their eyes on that food, and they think with their tummies, and their little legs came running just as fast as tiny chicken legs can go. And suddenly, the sound of laughter coming from myself as I watched the stampede of chickens coming down that hill at the very sight of a simple yellow bag of feed. Around the coop, and down the hill, and over the driveway and around the van, with a cockadoodledooing and squawking and bawking and with those little legs just scurrying as fast as can be. The flock knows my voice. Their little legs run and they come for the treats and they come for the feed. They’re just chickens, but they know what they want and they know what they need and they know they should run to good food and get fed and I laughed all the way from the deepest part of my guts as I watched all those chickens run and run fast. And as I laughed with my chickens who run so intentionally straight, I woke up to the day and I smelled the sweet scent of the wild honeysuckle in the wind, and I felt the warm sun, and heard the laughter of kids. And this was a moment that I could so easily have missed.
But there, right there, in that 50 pound bag was a grace from our God who made each moment for us to breathe in and breathe out and enjoy and not miss. But we stare at our phones and we stare at our screens and we stare at the things that are inside of our heads and we forget to look up, and we forget to look out, and we forget to breathe in the scents and breathe out. And we forget to watch for the giggling kids and the flitting of birds, and all those scurrying hens and we forget what the sound of our own laughter is like when we trade in the giggle and scurrying hens for the scrolling of stuff in the sweaty palms of our hands.
But what do we do? Can you picture the church, like a stampede of hens? Running straight, fast, and strong to the food of the Word and the arms of the Lord? Can you take in this moment, with the fresh air and the squawks and the playing of children and just praise the Lord for the gifts that He gave and the moment He made and the Word and the love and the so many things? Things that we’ll miss in the humdrum of chores and the rhythm of life if we don’t look around and we don’t let ourselves laugh from the deepest part of guts. Breathe it in, breathe it out, and look for the gleam of this life, of this moment, God’s in it, God made it, you can’t get it back, don’t waste even a second.