Teach me, Lord, what you want me to do, and I will obey you faithfully;
teach me to serve you with complete devotion. Psalm 86:11
Sitting outside one cool morning, my quiet time was disturbed by squawking and splashing. I looked up to see some Canada geese squabbling and flapping their wings in the pond behind our home. At first, their disruption was annoying and interrupting my devotions, but I found myself giving into the distraction.
It was spring and the geese were returning to their summer ponds. We always watch for the arrival of the mama and papa geese in hopes they will build a nest and we will witness the development of the little fluff ball goslings. This year, it appeared there were two couples vying for the same pond. As soon as the intruding couple approached the water, the resident male quickly paddled towards them, flapped his wings and squawked until they took off. If that wasn’t enough, he would carry the conflict into the air. Once the intruders left, he returned to his mate and they swam peacefully about the pond.
As this comical scene consumed my attention, I marveled at the complexities of God’s creation. I was reminded how Christ’s ministry was filled with disruptions and distractions. The children approaching him in a crowd, the man lowered into the house while he was teaching, even the bleeding woman who reached out and touched his cloak. He never responded with frustration and said “Really? This isn’t the right time! I have places to go and people to see. This is going to put me behind schedule.”
Instead, He stopped immediately and demonstrated compassion, healing, and understanding. This morning, God revealed to me two lessons through the antics of the geese. One lesson was to slow down and appreciate the intricacies of His creation. The other was to realize that disruptions are often an opportunity to recognize and possibly demonstrate God’s love. It may not be convenient, but in Christ’s ministry, hardly any of His interactions were convenient.
Jesus calls each of us to love Him with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. Just like I was distracted by the geese, that disruption actually increased my awareness of God’s presence. The next time you’re faced with an unexpected disturbance, consider the ways God might be redirecting your attention and focus.
Dear Lord, Thank you for using disturbances in my life to gain my attention. Teach me to understand Your purpose, focus on Your will, and obey. Amen.