Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Happy New Year!

How are those resolutions going? Mine are going great. Maybe that's because I don't have any.

Frankly 2015 seems daunting to me, and if I'm being really honest, everything in me would like to shrink back. It's sort of ironic that after 2014--where I felt God was calling me to "fly," the only thing God seems to be saying to me these days is, "Jenn, don't be a chicken."

A chicken is a flightless bird. Flightless.

While I experienced great joy and tremendous exhilaration in spreading my wings last year, I've also discovered some of the risks involved with "flying." Sure, there are times of soaring on lofty currents, but truly, it takes a lot of flapping to get there. And sometimes, while flapping with all my might, I realize that I'm not sure another current is going to come in time. I (and others) begin to question my mission. I may go so far as to question my existence. Flapping, flapping, all the while, not sure I'm even heading in the right direction for the right reasons. I circle, looking for places to land. And once I'm safely on the ground, I wonder if I really need to fly at all. Flying is fun for a while, but eventually the glamour wears off and you realize it's a lot of hard work. The ground is safe. And warm. And people don't seem to criticize or question chickens. Chickens are left alone to lay their eggs.

So maybe some days I want to be a chicken. But then I hear that unexpected whisper from the Great and Mighty Meddler who always seems to know what I'm thinking. He keeps saying one little phrase to me, over and over.

"Jenn, don't be a chicken."

How do I want to chicken-out? Let me count the ways!

I want to be a chicken when flying means leaving my comfort zone to, say, share the Gospel with a neighbor.

I want to be a chicken when flying means moving to a new city to plant a new church.

I want to be a chicken when flying means defying the stereotypes that define a good "missionary wife."

I want to be a chicken when flying means watching my children leave the nest and move across the globe.

I want to be a chicken when flying means having to do things for which I do not feel qualified.

I am a total chicken!

"Jenn, don't be a chicken."

He says it over and over and over again. Until my eyes well up with tears, and I cover my face with my hands, and I sob. Because I know that I'm a chicken. I want to be a kingdom builder, a light-bringer, a truth-teller, a God-server. But instead I'm just a chicken.

"Jenn, don't be a chicken."

But I don't know how to be anything else. I'm a big, fat land-loving chicken who once dreamed of flying, but now thinks maybe flying is too hard. Is it really worth it? Oh, Jesus, I know there are many others who were born to fly. Send them.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: Don't be a chicken.
I may have paraphrased the end of that passage from I Corinthians 1, but I think you get the gist. God uses chickens. But we can't stay chickens. We start as chickens--every one of us, I'd guess. But once he calls us to fly, he gives us wings that actually work.

The question is, will we use them? 

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