"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Risky Beginnings

By Micky Wolf

What was she thinking?  Ϯ

Not sure how geese go about their family business but making a nest between the rails of a train track, albeit a side-section, seems risky business for everyone involved. Nonetheless, this gathering of five fuzzy goslings began life in a spot fraught with not-so-nice possibilities. Gives new meaning to the expression, "Heads-up--duck!”

Birds of the sky…

After my initial “oh my!” at seeing these little ones, a familiar Scripture came to mind:

“Look at the birds of the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life span?” (Matthew 6:25-27)

I’m sure Momma goose doesn’t read, let alone have a Bible stashed somewhere in another hidey place. Yet maybe she knows more about trusting God than you and I do. Maybe she sensed, from her unique feathered perspective, they would be safe and up, up and away long before they were in danger of being smooshed by a caboose or carried away by a vulture.

Babies of the world…

As much as I appreciate the birds of the sky, it gives me great consolation to know that “Are you not more important than they?” is a promise from God, especially as we observe certain events, those not so far from our own backyards, as well as in distant lands:
…infants being born into the worst kind of squalor

…babies brought homes to parents in bondage to an addiction

…little ones left to their own devices in the absence of responsible caregivers

…youngsters without the means to learn basic skills of reading, writing and communication

…toddlers who point to the growl in their tummy when school is out for the summer

Living is risky business…

Maybe your baby-beginning was healthy and whole. You did not want for material things and your family was reasonably intact and mostly reasonable, most of the time.

Or maybe your baby-beginning was less than ideal. Maybe you had a seat at the table but you struggled to find your place in the larger picture of life. You wondered if you were smart enough, pretty enough, or good enough to meet the standards others placed in front of you.

The goslings did not make the decisions which led to their being nested and born in the midst of risk. We can say the same for many of us as human beings birthed into this world.

But here’s the catch: other people will always make choices and take action in ways that may put us at risk—physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Tidy, neat and perfectly safe and secure habitats exist only in the casket—and even all of that will eventually turn to dust. All of it.

At the same time, let us not be too quick to assign others the responsibility for the (risky) choices and actions we make of our own accord. Hoping to ignore the signs of a serious health issue? Denying the discord foreshadowing the breakdown of an important relationship?  Delaying the reality of financial collapse tapping at the door?

Dependence on God…

“Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life span?”

Nope. Why then, do we expend so much effort doing so? There are plenty of good explanations, but regardless how we try to justify such behavior, engaging in worry as a way to resolve risk is like trying to move the rails of the track as you watch the train race toward you.

…Better to consider and remember how important you are to God.

…That He chooses to care for us in all ways, at all times, even when it seems He is elsewhere.

And that the circumstances of our arrival into this world do not dictate the outcome of the future—unless we choose not to take responsibility for our life as God leads and guides us in the direction He would have us to go.

Was I born into a nest fraught with risk?

How do I feel about those risks?

As an adult, do I feel powerless in a world full of risk?

What choice(s) am I willing to make in order to let go of worry?

Ϯ  Mom and goslings have moved to a nearby creek as they continue to grow and mature.


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