Recently I was in a grocery store, at the egg section, when suddenly a woman said, “I just don’t know what we’re going to do with these chickens.” I replied, “Excuse me Ma’am, were you speaking to me?” She replied, “Yes, what are we going to do with these chickens? Every time I come in here the cost of eggs goes up.” Well, I felt a little awkward. So I smilingly responded with, “Hey, why don’t we pluck them, fry them, and eat them. That’ll teach those chickens to raise their prices.” She nodded, smiled oddly, then quickly walked away. I think the paradox of teaching chickens a lesson by eating them left her confused, especially since there wouldn’t be any more eggs. I thought it was funny.
For me, “What about the chickens,” has become a metaphor for unsolvable problems, for the things I can’t do anything about. As a preacher and spiritual leader, I bear some responsibility for making things better, at least on a small scale. I’m not alone; these same responsibilities rest on shoulders larger than mine. But still, I think God is looking to me to help.
To that end, I’ve been considering my goals for the coming year. I like to think of myself as a goal setter and a go-getter. Sometimes my go-getting needs some getty-up, but I’m trying. So what will I choose? Should I tackle some big chicken type goals, maybe? Not to limit God, but even with His help there are problems I can’t solve, like poverty, crime, or violence. I can’t stop abuse against women and children, or eliminate hatred and prejudice. So I need to ask: “With your help Lord, what can I do, want do you want me to do?”
Here is what I’ve come up with so far: Jesus wants me to practice humility, to be more kind, and to trust him more than I have. He is encouraging me to be busy praying, instead of neglecting to pray. I think he wants me to soften my heart, to be less stubborn and more submissive. I know he wants me to serve more, especially to those who are less fortunate or unable to help themselves. Do these goals seem too small?
I know, none of these address the big chicken problems of our world. And I have no idea what to do about the rising cost of eggs. But maybe in the eyes of Jesus, these smaller goals will do just fine for this coming year.
Think about it.