Posts Tagged ‘God’

What I’ve Learned from an Owl

Lately I’ve been watching the adventures of Molly, a barn owl, via live video streaming on the Internet. (see http://www.ustream.tv/theowlbox)  Two warnings before you check it out… 1.  Owls are carnivores.  I’ve watched her feed a rat to her babies…not for the squeamish.  2.  It’s addictive!  Some viewers have spent months watching these owls.

A California couple erected an ‘owl box’ in their backyard and installed a number of video cameras inside and outside.  Within two weeks, a pair of barn owls, nicknamed Molly and McGee, took ownership of the new ‘digs’.  They have already hatched one set of eggs (called a clutch), and are working on the second.  Their adventures are streamed online, and their popularity has spawned songs, books, videos, and a line of assorted gifts.

At this writing, three of Molly’s most recent eggs have hatched, and we’re waiting for the fourth.  I say ‘we’ because Molly has attracted thousands of fans (called MODs — Molly Obsessive Disorder) from all over the world, who chat while watching the live stream. It was quite a celebration recently when we watched hatchling #3, named Kelly, make her way out of the egg.

Every evening Molly (and her audience) waits for a visit from McGee, who is living out of the box with the first clutch, teaching them to hunt.  She places her food order with loud squawks, and sooner or later (usually later) he shows up with some tasty treat — a rat or mole or gopher — to feed his family.  Molly shares the meal with her new hatchlings, then returns to the work of sitting on the remaining egg.

This is real life, not scripted or contrived.  God created these beautiful creatures.  It is enthralling to watch the simplicity and complexity of their lives.  The fact that thousands of people are attracted to this site speaks of its appeal. It’s pretty simple.  Their needs are basic. They hunt, they eat, they sleep, they care for their young.  Molly is a devoted mother who is dependent on her mate to provide food for the family. (Owls are monogamous) McGee is a devoted father, who is training his young brood and taking care of his spouse.  Like us, they depend on God, and He provides them with all they need to survive and thrive. Watching the owls is a good reminder of that fact.

I can’t help but think of the time Jesus was teaching his disciples while the crowds overheard: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”  Matthew 6: 26-27 (NIV)

Okay, God.  I’m trusting You for all I need. But I’m glad I don’t have to eat rats.

Copyright 2010 Mary E. Egidio  — You can share this with others, but with attribution, and not for commercial purposes. (you can share it, but tell who wrote it, where you found it, and don’t sell it!)

Are You Growing?

When my children were little, I would sometimes eye them suspiciously and ask, in a teasing voice, “Are you growing again?”  To which my daughter would often reply, “Mommy! I’m supposed to do that!” 

It seemed that my teen-age son would go to bed at night and wake up a few inches taller in the morning.  This actually didn’t stop until after his first year in college, when he reached 6 ft 5 inches.  As he rested his chin on my head, I announced that I was going to have a ‘growth spurt’ and would be as tall as he was soon.  Obviously, that didn’t happen.  The only growing I seem to do anymore is around my waistline.

In Paul’s letters to the New Testament churches, he encourages the new Christians to grow.  He tells the Colossians, “… we pray… that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good word, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:10-12 (NIV)

Growing in the knowledge of God.   It doesn’t matter how old I am, or how long I’ve been a Christian, I always seem to have something else to learn in the God department.  And as my pastor mentioned lately, most of that growing and learning has come during the most dark and difficult days of my life.  Those are the days that I’ve had to dig deeply into His Word and learn to trust in His truth.  In uncertain times, I’ve experienced the richness of fully surrendering my will and my life into His everlasting arms.  I can point back to those days and say that was a growing time.

Hard as it might seem some days, I want to continue growing in the knowledge of God.  After all, like my daughter said, I’m supposed to do that!

Copyright 2010  Mary E. Egidio   – Permission is granted to share this writing, but only with attribution, and not for commercial purposes.  (You can share this, but tell who wrote it, where you found it, and please don’t sell it)

Hold Your Nose and Jump!

As a young teenager, I remember hot summer days when we would load up my dad’s Pontiac Catalina with friends and my brother would drive us over to Youngsville (‘Biggest Little Town on the Map!’) to go swimming.  Now, in my family, swimming usually meant driving out to Chapman Dam State Park and swimming in the lake.  But Youngsville had recently acquired something Warren didn’t have yet — a municipal pool!  And this pool had diving boards — two of them.  A diving board beat trying to dive off of Dad’s shoulders at the lake, any day.

One of the diving boards was the standard size, but the other was a ‘high dive’ — well, we all called it that.  By Olympic standards I’m sure it wasn’t the big platform dive from which competitors perform twisting, two-and-a-half whatevers.  Thinking back now, I’m guessing it was 14 feet or so.  Regardless of the height, it was a thrill to pad out to the end of that board, stare down at the water below, and jump.  Hitting the water was enough force to, shall we say, re-arrange your swimwear.  It was just fun, in a scary sort of way.

I’ve had times in my life that have felt a lot like diving off that board in Youngsville on a hot summer day.  They’ve been times of transition, times when the Lord opens a door for a new direction.  It happened when my husband was called to ministry and we moved to the mid-west to attend seminary, without seeing where we would be living.  It happened when we accepted a call to another church, after serving eleven years in our first assignment.  After we said ‘yes’ to God, and before the moving van pulled up to the new house, in between there, it felt like jumping off a high dive.  It’s an experience of faith.

You see, as long as I’m standing on the board with my toes hanging over the edge, I’m safe… because, as embarrassing as it might be, I can always go back and make my way down the ladder.  It’s not until I hold my nose and spring off with my leg muscles and become airborne that I truly exercise my faith.  I  have to believe that there is enough water in the pool for me to land safely (will God provide — be there for me in this new challenge?) and, that I will  know how to swim once I get down there (can God use and empower me to do what He’s asking?).  Because of my previous experiences with pools and swimming (faith and following God),  I know deep down that the answer to both of those questions is YES!  But I can’t learn that, I don’t fully experience it, until I let go and jump.

Hebrews chapter 11 shares lots of ‘diving board’ stories.  They’re worth reading.  Here’s one:  “By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”  Hebrews 11:8 (NIV)

That’s quite a high-dive!  How about you? Are you ready to jump in?

Copyright Mary E. Egidio 2010 – Permission is granted to share this work, but with attribution, and not for commercial purposes.  (You can share it, but tell who wrote it, where you found it, and don’t try to sell it)