By Patrick Hawthorne
Have you ever heard the song that went something like, “I once had a chicken who wouldn’t lay an egg…?” Well, I once – and still do – have a chicken who wouldn’t let go of the bread.
“For Pete’s sake, Pat. What are you babbling about today?”
Well… I have a plethora of critters. I have donkeys, and goats, and chickens, and one little miniature pig named, “Tiny Tim.” Anyways, I learn a lot about living a Godly life through the critters.
For example, the other day I decided to throw some stale wheat bread in with the chicken feed to give the girls a little extra something to munch on. I have around twenty hens and had half a loaf of bread which meant there was more than enough for all hens to get them several large hunks.
Well, there was this one hen who grabbed hold of a hunk of bread and began to run around the coop trying to keep it away from the others. The only problem was, the other hens were busy eating and wasn’t paying this hoarding hen one bit of mind. As I watched this churlish chicken (stingy, surly, difficult) run around with that bread, I thought to myself, “Ya stupid chicken, if you would just eat that piece, there are a lot more pieces for you to have afterwards.” It was then the Holy Spirit gently nudged me and showed me that the Church – the body of Christ as a whole – tend to act in the same manner. We call them “denominations.”
God moves in a particular manner for this group and they think that is how God always moves. He moves in a slightly different manner for another group and they too think that is how God always moves. Before long, we have a plethora of churches acting like churlish -stingy, difficult, surly – chickens. They grab hold of a move from God and run around acting like they hold the priced piece of bread. The sad part is that they don’t even consume the bread. They put it on display for all to see. Meanwhile, their congregation is starving and dying of spiritual malnutrition.
Is it any wonder that when a candy feeding church comes along that masses will flock to them? The folk are hungry and, to their way of thinking, if all they have is candy to eat at least it will fill their belly. All the while we hear preachers holler, “Don’t eat that candy. It is bad for you. Come to my church where we have this stale old bread from yesteryear that we will show you.” Meanwhile, God has a supply of fresh bread ready for consumption that they completely ignore.
Churlish chickens. Yep…you can sure learn a lot from them critters. Be blessed.