Shortly after we moved to our barn house in the country, we began hearing strange noises in the woods. It sounded like a woman in distress, day after day, calling for help. We weren’t sure whether to call 911 or just mind our own business, until we discovered the source of the shrieks: wild peacocks.
According to neighborhood legend, someone once raised these exotic birds, but several managed to escape and now live in the wilds of our local Texas woods. There’s no telling how many there are, but I would guess there are at least a couple dozen in our little area.
The peacocks are elusive. You only catch sight of them every now and then. And I’ve only once seen one in fully spread plumage, which caused me to nearly wreck my car as I craned my neck to see. It’s always a little exciting to round a bend in the road and see the brilliant blue and green birds walking around as if they belong here.
Last year, Jerry and Priscilla bought a home near ours, and one of the first things I asked Priscilla was if she had seen the peacocks yet.
“Peacocks! Everyone’s talking about the peacocks. The previous owners of our home told us the peacocks used to hang out in our backyard all the time. They used to FEED the peacocks. Other neighbors tell us of seeing the peacocks in the woods. People have told us to listen for the peacocks. We’ve heard them, we’ve found their feathers by the roadside, but we have not seen any of the peacocks anywhere!”
“Well, just keep looking,” I told her. “You’ll start seeing them.”
And sure enough, as Spring rolled around, the peacocks seemed to come out of the woodwork. By the road, pecking their way through grass, up on branches, in other people’s yards. They’d been here the whole time.
Now, they haven’t shown up in Priscilla’s yard (or mine) yet, but we keep expecting to see them there any day. We know that eventually they will, and we want to be ready. With food. Priscilla and I have talked about how looking for the peacocks is oftentimes how you experience God. People tell you all about Him. You see evidence of His work all around you. You hear about others’ encounters with Him. You might see glimpses of Him, just beyond your reach. And you can wonder why others can see and hear Him so clearly, while you don’t. Does this sound familiar?
My friend, just keep looking. He will show up.
This year, one of our themes at Going Beyond is “expectancy.” Just like we’ve come to expect those peacocks to show up and awe us with their beauty, we want to expect God to show up in our lives and awe us with His power. We’ve discovered that, just like we can miss seeing those peacocks right under our noses, we can miss God when we busily go through our days without stopping to look for Him.
But He is there. He is waiting. He is willing to show us his grandeur and power and brilliance.
And we want to be ready. Will you live in expectancy along with us?
Expecting great things in 2010,
Rachel, Priscilla and the Going Beyond Team
P.S. Priscilla doesn’t know it yet, but I bought her some peacock food as a
late birthday present. We’re both going to keep some handy for when
those gorgeous birds arrive in our yards.