Give me a word, Lord: DON’T BE A TURKEY

Today is a day for a good day! The Lord created this day just for you. Let’s get out there and enjoy it. Don’t be a turkey today! Be the one that God created you to be, Today’s devotional is an excerpt from my book, Inspirations from the Funny Farm. I hope you enjoy it!

Galatians 6:14 “As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Matthew 15:18 “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”

As I walked down to the barn early one morning just before daybreak, I spied with my little eye a white hen lying on the ground. The hen was all crumpled up surrounded by a few loose feathers. At first glance, it appeared that a predator had killed the hen during the night. Sadly, this can happen on a farm from time to time. I failed to inspect the chicken closely as I was in a hurry to feed all the animals and get on with my day. In my mind, I made a mental note to dispose of the poor old dead chicken after I finished my chores in the barn.

I am only human, and I admit that sometimes mornings on the farm are a struggle. There are many a days that I roll out of bed, throw my old robe on, walk outside and pull on those old muck boots, and stumble to the barn while rubbing sleep out of my eyes and wondering why in the world am I doing this? But before I even have time to collect my thoughts and spend any time at all contemplating the subject, I hear the answer loud and clear. As I approach the barn, it truly comes alive with all the morning noises: chickens cackling, roosters crowing, cows mooing, goats and sheep baaing, and pigs oinking. Those loud, chaotic, early morning shouts of joy (and sometimes impatience) from the creatures that I so dearly love, can turn a frown upside down like nothing else.

As I fed my furry and feathered friends, I quickly forgot about that “dead” chicken I saw on my way to the barn. I visited with my barn crew, talking to them, singing to them, and just enjoying the morning and as I tried to share the joy with them that they so freely give to me. After everyone had been fed, water buckets and troughs were all filled with fresh water, and everyone was noted to be in good shape, I gathered eggs and said my morning goodbyes.

I had just latched the barn gate and turned around to head toward the house when I saw that chicken out of the corner of my eye. Oh, it was still laying there, but this time, our tom turkey was jumping up and down on that chicken like a kid on a trampoline. That poor chicken wasn’t dead. It was just playing possum and pretending to be dead so that the mean old turkey would leave her alone. I quickly scooped her up and carried her to shelter to recover from the damage done by the turkey dance. After she was held in isolation for a while, she quickly recovered.

Turkeys can just be plain mean sometimes. God didn’t bless turkeys with a whole lot of smarts to begin with, and I suppose maybe they feel like they have to act out to try to appear smarter than they are, but they fail so miserably. We have owned several breeds of turkeys through the years, and I must admit that I haven’t found that one species is any smarter or more kind than another.

Turkeys can also be territorial. They will accept you into their flock if you are the hand that feeds them, but that doesn’t mean they have to like you. And just because you feed them, provide safe harbor for them to rest their weary heads, and keep them safe from predators, it doesn’t mean that they owe you or your kin folks any kind of allegiance. We’ve had turkeys that “tolerate” my husband and I but failed to “tolerate” our children. The turkeys would pounce on our sons for no reason at all. They would also jump on our vehicles and scratch them up…again, for no good reason at all. They can just be downright ornery!

Why do they feel the need to act out this way?  Who knows? I’ve tried to have conversations with them, but unlike some of our other pets, I can’t make heads or tails of what they are saying. It seems that they just want to feed, mate, and be left alone. They appear to act out to try to show that they are tougher than they actually are or perhaps they feel threatened and are acting out as a defense mechanism. Maybe they just want to show us who is the boss, but they aren’t smart enough to realized that the farmer is the boss.

How many times do we act like dumb old turkeys? If things aren’t going our way, we get defensive and act out. If someone argues with us and makes us feel inadequate, we get angry and we act out. We take it out on the person closest to us even if that person hasn’t done anything wrong. When we get passed over for a promotion, don’t get a compliment for a job well done, or don’t get something we want, we get our feathers all ruffled up and throw a fit. We don’t like to lose. We don’t like to be wrong. We don’t like to not get our way. We want to be admired. We want to be praised.  We want to be loved. Many times, we feel that we are not getting any of these things or that we are not getting enough of these things, and we start acting like a dumb old turkey. We tend to forget that this is not what life is about. It’s not about us gaining praise, admiration, and always getting our way. Life is about praising God, showing admiration for Him, and recognizing that He loves us and because He loves us, we should show that love to others…all others…even those others that act like turkeys that we don’t want to love. If we could just learn to recognize that the true meaning of the gospel of Jesus Christ is love,  we would all be a whole lot smarter and a lot less turkey like.

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