Ouch! Another lesson from everyday life! Most likely, by now you have seen Jean Hershey’s masterful documentation about a wood duck that got into our house when we were gone.
Now, this wood duck has a great home available in that large tree in our Payette front yard. But, for some reason, this is the 4th wood duck, or maybe the same one trying four times, that has decided instead to enter our home, via our fireplace chimney—with various results and outcomes.
One wonders why a duck would leave the beautiful outdoors and its home in that tree to go down a dark, soot-filled chimney. But then, why do we leave our loving walk with the Lord to go our own way? Could that possibly mean that, at least at times, we are no smarter than the wood duck?
Once a neighbor, with his bird dog, came in and helped find and capture the duck that had gone into hiding in our home. Another time, a son and grandson came with a fishing net—and after moving a heavy hide-a-bed couch, were able to capture and release the bird outside.
This time, Jean went over to our house, and found chaos, destruction and poop all throughout the house. If you look at some of her pictures you will see fractured pieces of blue glass on the floor—remnants of the beautiful blue glass pitcher and some goblets I have had on our fireplace mantel. Looking at their beauty over the years has provided great joy for me. And now, those are shattered –far beyond repair.
So, what is the lesson in this? What happened? The duck got in the wrong place. He is fine outside in his own area but not in my home. As I prayed about this, Spirit reminded me of how easy it is for me, for any of us, to get in the wrong place. And, then, the resulting frustration, chaos, and destruction that happens.
What are some of the wrong places for me/us that we can get ourselves into, not know how to get out of, struggle in, and cause destruction?
--Expectations: Either of others or myself. I think I know how it should be, if relationships or actions, and when it is not, frustration, chaos, and destruction easily happen. If they really cared, then they would--.
--Shoulds: when I try to live my life by what I think I should be doing rather than following Spirit guidance. And, I can never live up to all that and so often a sense of defeat follows.
--Depression: my beliefs that no one cares, life is not good, there is no use trying, and I lose joy and peace.
--Not good-enough: Judgment on myself and believing that is how others see me.
--A sense of unfairness—how could that happen to me? How could that person do that?
I am sure you can think of more situations we can get ourselves caught in. The sad part is that not only was the duck frustrated because s/he couldn’t get out but in that frustration caused some massive destruction. And that is true for us: when we get in one of the wrong places, we cause destruction and chaos—not only for ourself but for others.
But, YEA, we have something the duck didn’t have: We have the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us and the Blood of Jesus frees us from the destruction.
Yes, Mark and Jean got this duck out. In our way of relating to others, the duck should have been punished for what it had done. But, Our Loving Father sets us free just as they set the bird free. Note: Mark also covered the top of the chimney to prevent further repeats. But, we had thought we had it covered! I wonder what story that duck told his buddies. Did he learn any lessons? What lessons will I learn?
Spiritual Director Jeanie Hershey
Direction challenged? Yes, that is often me, especially in new places. If my body/mind gets used to an area, the directions become more a part of my life. Now, in this new home, as I look out over the green wheat fields or drive someplace—any sense of direction is gone. There are very few landmarks to help me out. Just more fields and ups and downs in the roads like a roller coaster. I am going to need to rely even more on GPS.
Even when GPS is “working”, there are times it doesn’t “make sense”. I have memories, sometimes very frustrating ones, of various travels when the driver tried to go by what “made sense” rather than follow GPS directions. And soon, we did not know where we were and we heard “recalculate”. Thankfully, the GPS does not just say, “recalculate”. The GPS can get us back on track if we will but listen.
How does this compare with spiritual? As Christians, Jesus left us a wonderful GPS. He didn’t call it that but He did say that when He went away He was not leaving us alone but sending us a guide—the Holy Spirit. It is amazing what can happen in our lives and our churches as we connect with that spiritual GPS, take time to seek guidance from, and then follow, the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Sadly, there are times, (many) when we go our own way rather than follow GPS guidance. We need to be told to “recalculate”. Time to get quiet and tune in to the Holy Spirit.
So, if your day/life begins to feel like it is “out of whack”, Recalculate. Time to stop; sit quietly; connect with the Holy Spirit; and let Him guide you out of the mess you feel you are in. Get back on track.
Spiritual Director Jeanie Hershey