This week (Holy Week) I'm working at my daughter's house so I can take care of my grandkids while their parents are away on a trip. I'm happy to be here so they can do this. I'm accomplishing quite a bit as I have quiet time during the day.
One thing I did not expect to do, however, is to take care of the livestock. My daughter and family live in the country and have goats and chickens. And one mean rooster. So I was expecting to take care of the kids. But was surprised to hear that I was taking care of the other "kids." Although, really, how difficult can it be to go get goat feed and put it out in the pen for the goats. "You don't have to feed the chickens," said my son-in-law. "They will have enough food. The rooster will attack you if you go out there." I was relieved.
Thing is, the rooster and all the chickens get out every day. So, he's pretty hard to avoid. I knew I could be in trouble yesterday when I went to feed the goats and the rooster was inside the fence with them. I was armed with the bat I was told to take with me. "Don't let him see you are afraid of him," said my daughter. So I said to him, "I'm in control here." And I hit the fence post with the bat. Mr. Rooster didn't flinch. Instead he charged the fence. I said, "Oh no you don't." And hit the fence again. He charged it again and I walked as fast as I could back to the house. Like a boss.
Well, this morning when I looked out I saw that the goats were out of their pen, I texted my daughter to tell her that I wasn't going to deal with that. But she and my son-in-law twisted my arm telling me it was important that the goats not wander next door and eat the cattle food of the neighbors due to how expensive it was. "Just hit that rooster with the bat a couple of times and he'll back off." they said. "And don't show him you're afraid." Mmm hmm. "Put on Eric's work boots so if he attacks you he will just peck at the boots. He can't get any higher," they assured me. (I wasn't really very assured.)
Do you know how difficult it is to run with heavy mud boots that are way too big for you? It's actually impossible! I had the goats trying to eat the chicken food and the rooster comes up behind me and starts giving me you know what. I swung the bat at him and singed his neck. He flapped his wings and came at me. I looked him in the eye - sort of, although it's hard to tell if a rooster is looking at you or not - and I screamed at him and swung again. It was like he was taking his stance and waiting for the next swing. And up he came ready to charge, wings flapping and he started crowing. After about five swings, he strutted off acting like he had won the battle. My heart was racing and I felt weak but I knew who had really won. As scared as I was, I didn't back down. I faced the demon and fought a good fight. I got the goats back in the pen where they belonged and got inside the house without a scratch. And collapsed, shaking and weak. But I did it!
So I keep thinking about other demons in our lives. What are the things that keep us in fear? What is it that keeps me from stepping out and doing the brave, courageous things in life that I know needs to be done? Is it fear of what others will think if I express my opinion or do something I feel passionate about? Is it a fear of looking ridiculous? Or of losing friends? Is it a feeling of failure before I even try? (As in writing a blog and letting people read it?)
What are your demons that keep you inside instead of stepping out in faith? Is it a voice from the past or your inner voice saying you aren't good enough, smart enough, capable enough? I wanted to stay in the house. I insisted I couldn't face that rooster. But with some encouragement (or call it coercion) I went ahead and did it and whether the rooster thought he won or not, I accomplished what I needed to do and survived. I have to admit, I'm not looking forward to going out to feed the goats tomorrow. But I will and I will face that devil again and I will be okay.
And so will you. Go face that demon and do what you are called to do! He might crow and act like a big shot in the coop but it's just a rooster, for gosh sakes. You are stronger than that!
P.S. I tried to get a picture of the rooster but I couldn't get a good shot without getting close to him and - well - I didn't think a picture was that important.