God’s Will – Part 1
Allow me to introduce you to Maybelle. Also, allow me to start with the disclaimer that we may be a little too attached to our chickens. It is Maybelle’s actions yesterday that inspired this Boylesk Reflection, but it is not her alone that provides the lesson.
I will also introduce you to Arlene and Ethel specifically and their friends generally. Today, many things are deemed “correct” or better. Often times, these judgements are made from a social and disconnected view rather than a practical or application perspective. Our chickens, also known as “The Ladies” for the older group and “The Little Ladies” for the younger, provide a little context for this conclusion. In our first short video, you see Arlene, the white chick, and The Little Ladies being introduced to the outdoors for the first time. You can also see the bales of straw set up to contain them. These bales are not there to be cruel but to provide them protection and keep them close to the safety of their coop (house). This outing was to be the beginning of The Little Ladies’ lives as “Free Range” chickens. The only “humane” way to keep chickens.
Time for a little sad practicality. The farm on which we now live was built in 1974, which means a lot has happened around the barns and on the property in the 45 years since. Things have been built and torn down, torn apart, repaired, and put back together. This, on some scale, is the reality of every property people call home. Back to Arlene. On this day, as you can see from the video, Arlene had a great time. She ran back and forth, scratched at the ground, and found all kinds of tasty new treats. I guess Arlene confirmed the social conclusion. (This is the only “humane” way to keep chickens.) Tell that to Arlene… well actually, you can’t. In the midst of her Free Range joy, she scratched up a tiny screw, and chickens will eat anything, which Arlene did. While we did not know this is what happened, she began to behave strangely soon after their outing. We called many vets, but none take care of chickens. We searched online for possible solutions and ran to the store for hopeful remedies, but the practical result was that she did not survive the next day. Her Free Range life lasted 24 hours.
Now hang in there.
In this video you see Ethel leading The Ladies back to the barn for dinner. You can also see that The Ladies have all the Free Range a Happy Hen could want. In the video, you see our drive and, to the right of that drive, this corn field (see picture below). A few days after the video was taken, we went out to call The Ladies for dinner only to find them wandering the corn field. We called and circled around behind them to herd them out of the field. When we got them back into the yard, Ethel was missing. We searched the corn field Row, after Row, after Row, …after Row, ……………after Row, No Ethel. We searched and called and even crinkled their treat bag that always brought them running. No Ethel. This left only two possibilities. The least probable, and honestly one born more of hope then likelihood, is that she simply wandered far off and is happily residing at some neighbor’s house. What is more likely is that there was a fox or a coyote lurking in the corn field.
Now Maybelle… to save you the emotional trauma, Maybelle is just fine hanging out with The Little Ladies. After the loss of Ethel, we imposed restrictions on all The Ladies’ Free Range privileges. For The Little Ladies, which included Maybelle, this meant a fenced in yard. For The Ladies, which had included Ethel, this meant covering their yard with chicken wire because Carol would simply fly over. Last night when we went to put them in the coop for the night, Maybelle was missing. This is where the title comes in. Chickens Can’t See in The Dark. Because this is true, when darkness approaches, the chickens will return to their coop, find their favorite spot on their favorite perch safely above the ground, and cuddle in for the night until daylight returns. As I said, when we went into the coop last night, The Little Ladies perch was missing one Little Lady. Maybelle had apparently flown over their fence and wandered off. Because she had never been given the opportunity to Range without limitation, it would be normal that she would stay within sight and reach of the safety of her coop. But that is not what happened, and now it was dark. We searched the barn, the coop, the yard, and the fields. We used flashlights, phone lights, and headlights, but could find no Maybelle. After about the fourth complete search, I said let’s search the corn field and the lane between again. You see, the farmer had been harvesting the field the last couple of days. This meant two things, there were no longer corn stalks to hide Maybelle and there was a lot of yummy corn kernels lying around. As I began to drive up the lane from the road and Carla began to walk down the lane from the back, we hear Bethany over the walkie-talkie declaring, “I found her!” There, in the tall grass at the edge of the lane, was Maybelle all hunkered down and afraid. Unable to see through the darkness to find her way home, she hid in the grass helpless against whatever might come. She was more than happy to have Bethany pick her up and carry her from her Free Range location to the safety of the coop.
While these stories may have seemed like the setup for a rant on the Data-less foundation of Social/Secular Doctrines, it was not. As I said, Maybelle and the other sad stories of The Ladies provoked an Occasional Reflection I think Boyle would approve. Today, the modern Christian either poorly represents or misrepresents God’s Will. I just read yesterday a quote I have read many times before and heard my entire life, “Whatever happens, I know it is God’s Will.”
Let’s look back at The Ladies…
We wanted Arlene to enjoy as much Freedom as possible. She was an exceptionally spunky little chick, and we enjoyed watching her scratch at the ground and run around seemingly unable to contain her excitement. We did not want, it was not our will, that she eat a screw or that she should sacrifice her whole life for a few hours of excitement. When we opened the gate every day to allow Ethel and The Ladies their Freedom, we did not want them to wander into the corn field. We did not want Ethel to get separated, lost, and likely killed. This was not our will. When we took action to protect the rest of The Ladies from their fate, we did not want Maybelle to leave that protection. It was not our will that she face the darkness alone or be paralyzed in fear.
Our will is that each and everyone of The Ladies lives a long and happy life. That they remain safe and free of disease. So much so, that we took the horrible thing that happened to Arlene for the protection of all The Ladies that would come after her. We could choose to do this in two ways: take away their freedom limiting them to the coop, or put extra vigilance into scouring the fenced in yard for anything that would pose a threat. After Ethel’s (and The Ladies’) choice to abuse their Freedom that put them in constant peril, we added safety measures to serve our will that they be safe. Today, we will add to these safety measures because our will for Maybelle is that she be safe, never be afraid or be alone in the dark.
But, because we want, because it is our will that they remain as Free and Happy as possible, we will never lock them up completely. And, because our will is for them to have this Freedom, there will always be risk that their decisions will bring them harm. Because we are overly attached to our chickens, we will not trade their Freedom for safety but will continue to provide them the Guidance I just described. We will do all we can to make our will known to them and do what we can with their choices to keep them in that will.
God’s Will is stated clearly throughout the Manual. Many examples are given where God’s Will is stated clearly and it was ignored or the opposite was done. It is an inaccurate understanding to state that all “is” God’s Will. God did not Will or want Adam to rebel against His instructions. God did not Will or want Moses to ignore His instruction and lose entrance into the promised land. No one would Will or want to put someone in the belly of a whale. God did not Will or want mankind to fall to a place where “every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was altogether evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5) God does not Will or want that mankind would “not listen or incline their ear, but they follow the stubborn inclinations of their own evil hearts.” (Jeremiah 7:24)
God’s Will is “Obey Me, and I will be your God, and you will be My people. You must walk in all the ways I have commanded you, so that it may go well with you.” (Jeremiah 7:23) God’s Will is that “Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked.” (1 John 2:6) God’s Will is that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13) God Wills or “wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)
The point is this. There is a subtle and immense distinction to be made here. Everything that happens is not God’s Will. To lay the stupid decisions that we as individuals make at God’s feet as His Will is improper and borders on blasphemous. To be clear, I am not saying that all who make the statement, “All is God’s Will,” are doing that. But it is a point we must be absolutely clear about as it provides a loophole that the Adversary will use to put a stumbling block in the path of Christ’s sheep. God’s Will, as just represented, is clear. Anything that acts counter to or out of line with that Will is not God’s Will. He is never inconsistent. The accurate and necessary representation is that God, in His Sovereign and All-Powerful Authority, uses all things for His Will.
It is not God’s Will that we wander off into places that are not safe. It is not God’s Will that we ingest things that can kill us. It is not God’s Will that we sit alone in the Dark and are afraid. But, it is His Will that we be Free to choose to do so, and, if we choose to step out of His protection and guidance, then He will use our error to serve His Will in our lives or in the lives of others.
One last thing to remember. Unlike us, God never confuses His infinite cause with our finite one.
© Scott A Caughel 11/5/2020