Here is my post-Thanksgiving thanksgiving post. But it’s not about turkey and cranberry sauce. It is about chickens and weeds.
Working outdoors doing mundane tasks such as raking leaves and chopping wood is not only good exercise, but also a good time to write (in my head). Many outdoor chores require little thought. Once begun, they free my mind to pursue other interests.
Pulling weeds is one of those brainless but productive activities. The weeds don’t run and hide. They just sit there and let you pull them. Strange as it sounds, I can get a lot of writing done while weeding.
Lately, however, I have developed a bad attitude about the source of our weeds, which are often reseeded into our garden when our next door neighbor mows his “lawn” or the wind blows across it. My attitude was brought to my attention recently when writer’s block hit me while developing a lesson series that I am teaching at church. The few thoughts I had were bouncing around aimlessly. So I went outside to weed and write. But while the weeds cooperated, the words still did not. The truth was that inside I was still distracted by my complaint against my neighbors.
It occurred to me that where the weeds could be going mattered more than where they came from. I’m referring to my oldest son’s eight Rhode Island Red hens in our back yard. Their ideal diet is grain, grass and grubs, but they like weeds as much as grass. I began to thank God for the weeds. With the obstacle of ingratitude out of the way, my mind began to clear and that lesson series began to flow.
The hens were excited when they saw the bucket of weeds and heard me call “Salad time!” In return, they thanked me with eight fresh eggs. Funny thing; the more greens and bugs the hens eat, the better their eggs are.
This is not merely about making lemonade out of lemons, (or in this case, eggs out of weeds). Nor am I advocating a chicken in every yard. I am urging all of us to be in a continual state of thanking God, so that our thought patterns break free from the prison of self. We will notice blessings previously disguised as burdens and will produce more than enough to pass along to others.
“Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.”