Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wild Turkeys and Wisdom
This is exactly what I saw yesterday afternoon. Well, not in this caricature form- it was the real thing. A huge wild turkey was pounding away at the basement window of our house, looking like he was frantically trying to come into the house!
But I didn't know that this is what it was, at first. It was such a racket and such a pounding noise that I heard, that I soberly told Abby, "Wait here, and if I don't come back up in five minutes, call 911". I was going to go downstairs and check out what I heard. I honestly thought it was either a bold thief or that the UPS guy had gotten stuck in my garage or something and was hysterically pounding on the door.
So I went downstairs and there in front of me was this huge wild turkey. I have to tell you that they are the most ridiculous looking of all birds: tiny, tiny head, flubbery red thing rolling around their neck, huge wings waving but getting them no where really- just short little distances. This turkey was apparently in a crazed panic, that's all I could think. While the others (there were about twenty of them in my backyard) kept their distance and strolled around the yard eating whatever specks they saw on the ground, this bird was slamming himself against the window and going for...what? Did he think if he came into the house that I would offer him a cup of tea and a foot massage? This silly bird's cousin was going to be on our Thanksgiving dinner table in another month or so! So why was he approaching our house and pounding on the window to come in?
The things we do when we're flustered- you don't want to know. We've all been there. If I get upset and panicky, I lose all sense of the ground under my feet. I know all about flapping my wings only to get a few inches further into my panic than I already am. I know all about persistent, frantic action that not only gets me no where but actually takes me into dangerous territory. So when I looked at that wild turkey repetitively pounding himself against the window, I thought, you poor silly thing. Please, God, don't let that be me.
I had actually just quoted this verse to a friend recently, and it suddenly came back to me, "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm" (Prov 13:20). I had mentioned this verse to my friend when we were discussing how to choose the right advisors, the right financial experts, to listen to. In this crumbling economy, how do you know who really has the right advice? Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. Yet there's the sense that we have to do what we can, when we can, to preserve our assets and protect what little we may have. That's why everyone's sense of alarm is up. Some of us are so riled up by panic that we could look crazy and act rashly. I don't want to do that. And Mr. Turkey was kind enough to remind me of that.
I think the Wise are those who do walk, and not race about frantically. The Wise are able to take step by step through dangerous and critical times because they don't carry the weight of the world-or the future of the world- on their shoulders. They walk with Him, the One who holds the future. And anyone who knows Him well can walk steadily when the times get crazy and people start to act like wild turkeys.
Thanks to Mr. Turkey, I have gotten a picture of what I could look like if I "lose" it. I don't want to lose it. I don't want to panic or fear. I want to walk, wisely, and trustingly- even if I have to keep taking a deep breath every step I take.