Monday, April 19, 2010

Of hens and otherwise!

One of our nine lovely ladies has decided she wants babies.  She sits and sits and sits on her little pile of eggs (until one of my rowdy crew moves her aside to whisk them away).  We have no rooster, so there isn't a chance that one of these eggs will actually hatch, but that doesn't stop her from trying!  When my seven-year-old went this evening to check for eggs and she took a swipe at him with her beak, I decided I'd better do it myself.

Keep Chickens! Tending Small Flocks in Cities, Suburbs, and Other Small SpacesOnce I moved her fluffed-out, protesting self off the eggs, I was amazed at how warm they were!  Warm may be an would be more accurate.  She really does a fabulous job brooding over these eggs.  It's too bad it's futile!  After reading up a bit on broodiness, it seems we'll have to coax her gently back into the flock, distracting her from her "nest" a bit each day until she gets over this.

This all led me to reflect on brooding...for we humans do it too!  And I'm not talking about the normal "nesting" behavior that happens in late pregnancy, either.  I'm talking about the brooding that happens when our minds latch onto something and we worry it and worry it, nourish it, spend time on it -- perhaps even though we realize that this something is useless and that our efforts to make it grow are futile.  When we brood over something, we behave just like my little hen -- we lash out at those who take care of us and love us, we lose interest in things that used to delight us, and we avoid social situations.  We prefer to isolate ourselves with our thoughts.

And sometimes we may not realize that we are withdrawing ourselves from others.  It's possible to just go through the motions: pray, eat, talk, bathe the kids, cook dinner, wash dishes, fold laundry.  Outwardly, we seem engaged.  But those who know us well can tell that our hearts and minds aren't in our work.  We are distracted and not at peace.

So don't become a broody hen!  It's easy to do when there are things happening in our world or in our lives that preoccupy us.  But dwelling on the same issue or mulling over the same event does nothing to change anything.  It's futile, just like trying to hatch an unfertilized egg.  Instead of wasting energy and time on such thoughts, commit all things to the Lord and then let them go.

Trust me. You won't regret your new-found freedom!

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