“I am glad I had the time to watch a small turkey flock convening across the road a few days ago. Six or seven were trotting up and down the fence row when I first noticed them. In about an hour, I saw cars slowing as I walked past the window; I wondered what was going on. By now there were thirty or more turkeys in a line, running wildly–looking confused and frightened.
Three large tom turkeys, with tail feathers fanned showing full authority, patrolled the long line of hen and smaller male turkeys. They paced, up and down–only to get to the bottom of the hill and turn and pace again–looking like expectant fathers in a hospital waiting room. This went on for over an hour. The large group paced, and the three toms strutted slower, more deliberately behind them uttering an occasional gobble. I thought– “they must be encouraging them to get over the fence” 🙂
Can you imagine the conversations —
“I cant do this; that fence is too high.”
“I have never done this before.”
“My friend said I wouldn’t make it.”
“What if that car hits me?”
“Why did I come this way anyway?”
“I may fail; I need someone to help me over.”
“You can do this,” one large tom gobbled. “I know you can.” And on and on the smaller ones paced.
Until . . .
one turkey flew over the fence. Then, as if the others had been given a shot of adrenaline, the entire group, minus the toms, followed the leader and flew straight over the road. I clapped my hands like a little girl, excited over some major accomplishment I had just finished. It was an awesome sight. They all met at my bird feeders in the backyard for breakfast.
So now, the three tom turkeys still on the other side began to pace, almost frantically. “Perhaps they are too heavy to get over the fence,” I thought. “They cannot just jump and fly over.”
After about twenty minutes of mindless pacing, one began to run–like an airplane gaining speed down a runway. The other two chased after as fast as they could and soon all three lifted off at the other end of the fence. What a moment . . .
You know–I think they needed each other. The younger hens had been encouraged by the three oversized toms, and now these three older wiser ones had needed each other, too. It did take some time; at least they have not been in this predicament since. They must have learned their lesson–or at least, I did.
You have heard a two-year old adamantly say, “I can do this myself.” How many times do we try “to do it myself”, to go it alone–but oh, how we need each other. Human relationships are sweeter, difficult tasks easier, sorrows on the journey more bearable as we encourage and are encouraged. And we make it across the fence.
Paul ‘s words to the Thessalonians from the Message advise us: ” So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it. ” 5:11
For two hours this morning, one wild turkey trotted up and down the fence row across the street–alone. She never went across as long as I observed her desperate pacing.
I wanted to go help her–to pick her up and carry her over. I cant do that–but I can “pick others up.” I can . . .
. . . make a call, send a card, order flowers, give a gift. Texting Scriptures to a friend has become my favorite method of encouragement. What a gift in this age of media mania.
Text-fully for fence crossing. . .