My father was driving around somewhere on the dark side of the moon in the backwoods of Guatemala dodging potholes big enough to sink his vehicle when he happened upon a turkey. When I say “happened upon”, I truly mean “upon” because Dad accidentally ran over the turkey, killing it deader than a doornail.
This constituted An Event in the smattering of shacks that made up the village and all the folks gathered ’round to bemoan the recently departed bird and Dad participated in the discussion and the hand-wringing and the offering of condolences to the owner of said fowl. After a good twenty minutes of discussing how valuable the turkey was to the family, it became apparent that they expected to be compensated for the bird. It seemed very reasonable and my father is nothing if not reasonable, so a more than fair price was agreed to for the turkey and Dad handsomely recompensed the farmer and everything was sunshine and roses.
Dad walked in front of the car, picked up the lifeless carcass, and threw it in the back seat. This set off all kinds of uproar and the farmer demanded that the turkey remain with him since, after all, it was his to begin with and he had been harmed in the event. My father explained that he had just paid for the turkey (and most likely two or three additional turkeys plus a small goat) and he wasn’t going to be deprived of what had been rightfully purchased. I don’t really remember the details of the subsequent discussion, but I do know that at the end of the day, my dad prevailed and he proudly walked into our house with a ginormous dead fully feathered turkey, ready for the pot.
Our house helper busily began plucking, scraping, boiling water and preparing the turkey for caldo, a popular national soup dish, and Mom stood hovering in the kitchen asking, “Is the turkey going to be tender?”
Um, I think being steamrolled by a Land Rover would go a long way towards making it that way, Mom.
The maid just shrugged and said, “We’ll see.”
Being the kind of woman who reads the last chapter of the book first to see if it ends well, my mother asked again, “Do you think the turkey will be tender?”
Again, the maid replied, “I’m not sure. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Mom left the kitchen and returned a little while later, opened the lid and poked around and asked a third time, “Do you think the turkey will be tender?”
Margarita stopped what she was doing, turned around and looked at my mom and in a very clear, distinctive tone said, “If it’s an old turkey, it’ll be tough. If it’s a young turkey, it’ll be tender.”
Little did she know that her momentary reply to my mother would resonate with me for a lifetime.
I can suffocate in fear about potential paths my life will take.
I can stew over possibilities that are out of my control.
I can camp out in middle of that paralyzing vortex of “What If”.
But none of that changes the outcome.
Life is full of good and bad, famine and harvest, and it is in acknowledging that truth that helps me release the grip of fear that can keep me from embracing what God has ordained for me.
Jobs lost, jobs gained.
Fractured relationships, mended fences.
And through it all, a God who never changes and who wants to give me a full life of balance, not just benefit, so that I can grow in my own character and in knowledge of Him.
“….Be content with what you have. Never will I leave you and never will I forsake you.“
Have a nice day.