I don’t like birds. In fact, I’m pretty scared and weirded out by them. So when I say “I watched this amazing documentary about American Wild Turkeys”, you’ve got to believe me – it’s really compelling!
Just watch the opening minute and tell me you’re not charmed by the gentleness and curiousness of it all. I think it’s available to view on iPlayer for the next two weeks. I highly recommend it!
The gist is this: a man becomes mum to a family of endangered turkeys and raises them, follows them and cares for them for a year. His life stops while he lives to bring them up.
The strangest thing is how much it made me think about my life! There is a beautiful two minute section (watch from 41.30) which talks about how turkeys live in the moment. The man living with them says this:
They (the turkeys) are convinced that everything they need - all their needs – will be met only in the present moment and in this place. The world’s not better half a mile through the woods, it’s not better an hour from now and it’s not better tomorrow. This is as good as it gets.
I’m rarely satisfied with the moment. Even when I’m cuddling my children, I’m often thinking about the washing I could be doing or what’s next on the to-do list.
It reminded me of Jesus talking about worry and made me understand more clearly why he says not to worry about tomorrow. So often my worry about tomorrow means I’m not grateful for today. My fear of an uncertain future distracts me from appreciating the stability of the present. Even when the present doesn’t feel terribly secure – at least it’s real! That’s far more worthy of my energy and thought than an imagined future.
I’ll still write to-do lists (I might rename it a ‘ta-da!’ list to make it less boring) and I’ll still put dates in the diary but I want to appreciate the day God has given me and not fret about the future God has wisely kept to himself.
I hope this will grow in me contentment, a greater enjoyment of simplicity, appreciation of people above things and a greater joy in the life God has given me.
I need this reminder so desperately after wishing away much of the summer holiday because it was so tough and after worrying and wondering about elements of our future which are out of our control.
I hope Jesus doesn’t mind that instead of looking to the sparrows, I’m looking to the American Wild Turkeys. And I hope that imitating them makes me cling more tightly to him.
photo credit – the times