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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cock-a-doodle-doo Moments in Life

I attended a field trip with my son to the Renaissance Festival a few months ago as a chaperone. I told him he could have a little money to buy a fun snack or a souvenir. Most of his friends bought things like whistles, crafts or junky fair food. What did my son choose? A live chicken!

I'd secretly wanted to raise chickens so I agreed to let him buy it. We gave the guy at the petting zoo area $5.00 and he in turn handed us a small chicken in a box. Since we'd taken the school bus to the festival, I was forced to smuggle our new fowl home. After all, the school district had simply said, "No weapons" on the bus. They hadn't mentioned anything about livestock. The students and teachers all knew about our little chicken smuggling escapade, but they kept quiet as we rode home with me sitting directly behind the innocent bus driver. My theory is that the students were happy to be in on a secret mission which involved an adult pushing the limits in regards to school rules.

Well, we brought our sweet chicken home. They told us it was a girl which was good since our neighborhood doesn't allow roosters due to noise issues. We named her "Ren the Hen" (after the Renaissance Festival where she came from ). My husband was super excited (not) to spend $150.00 and two days building us a wonderful chicken coop to house our single chicken. He was even more excited when I told him that our chicken would need some friends so we'd need to buy some chicks at the feed store. P.S. Over time he's come to love the chickens and is looking forward to fresh eggs.

Those who know me, know that I love analogies and most temporal events in my life have a spiritual analogy in my mind. So here's the spiritual lesson that I learned from a chicken...

I bought a female chicken who become a family pet and would lay eggs for our family. I had great dreams for this chicken - it would be kind and gentle since we held it everyday, it would lay eggs, it would live happily in its little dream coop. I had our path as chicken-raisers all laid out and it was lovely, organized, and perfect.

After a few months, I noticed that our cute little hen was getting a little red comb on top of her head and it was getting bigger every day. But that was okay, because my friend had chickens and her chickens had that too. I also noticed that the wattle under the neck was getting bigger and that our hen had a very low "cluck" when she talked. Again, I thought that was fine for our little totally female hen. My husband noticed all these things too, but none of us dared even think that there was anything "off." We just went on with our lives assuming everything was good.

Then, one day after school, our boys burst in the door, one of them crying hysterically muttering something about not wanting our chicken to be eaten. The older son followed him quickly explaining that Ren the Hen was actually Ren the Rooster! As they walked by the yard they'd heard a horrible sound... Cock-a-doodle-doo!

It all made sense - the big red comb, the growing wattle, the deep voice. We had ignored the signs and saw only what we wanted to see. Now we had a problem. I knew that I alone could not fix this issue so I reached out for help. I called the Feed Store and they told me that they could place the rooster with someone who lived on a farm. Our kids were so happy that Ren wouldn't become someone's Sunday meal.

This Ren the Rooster experience is like life. We think we have things all planned out. We set things up the best we can. We see only the things we want to see and ignore the issues that might cause us grief or sadness. Then one day, reality hits and we hear a COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO in our lives. We are thrown into reality and have to deal with problems we've ignored. Luckily, we are not alone and can reach out for help. Of course life's problems aren't solved by calling the Feed Store, but we can call out to our Savior who will help us through all problems. He will comfort us, guide us, and help us through our trials.

We've all had those "Ren the Rooster" moments in life. Some of these awakenings are more painful than others. Some caused by our own sins and mistakes, some caused by other's problems, and some just things that happen in our lives here on earth. My goal is to live my life with my eyes open, seeing things as they really are, dealing with problems as they arise instead of ignoring them. And most importantly, I want to remember to turn to my Savior quickly and daily for all my needs.


Anonymous said...

You have a wonderful outlook. I truly believe that all of us are indeed still learning. Learning to forgive, learning to see the good when others don't, and to teach our kids that life will always present Doo-Doo moments. What is so touching is that you see the beauty in things others would pass off. We can't do it without the man above..Ren the Rooster's story will always be a reminder that even our best intentions don't go as planned.

April said...

Love the analogy!! I am a huge fan of seeing life experiences through spiritual eyes and what we can learn from them, so thanks for sharing. And as you well know, I have had my share of "Cock-a-doodle-doo" moments!

Pam said...