Lessons from a burrowing owl

Hooties“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?”- Matthew 6:26

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird; it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.  We are like eggs at present.  And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg.  We must be hatched or go bad.”- C. S. Lewis

My cousin Pat and her husband Ted live in Cape Coral, FL.  Approximately two blocks from their condo there is a protected, open and treeless field- home to a family of burrowing owls.  Burrowing owls have long legs, a brown body with white speckles, and no ear tufts.  They stand about 9.5″ tall, have a 21″ wingspan, and weigh 5 ounces.

Burrowing owls may dig their own nest or utilize abandoned burrows of prairie dogs or gophers.  To catch prey they can hover over fields or run along the ground.  Owlets scare away predators by hiding in their burrows and mimicking the sounds of a rattlesnake.

We can learn life-transforming lessons from a burrowing owl.  In the song “Your Words” by Third Day, we hear the following: “Let me hear Your words above all the other voices, above all the distractions in this world.”  Those other voices, even our self-talk, may condemn us to feelings of worthlessness and insignificance following our vocation loss.  As C. S. Lewis (The Great Divorce) writes, ultimately each of us will adopt one of two postures before God, joyful surrender or defiant separation:

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God ‘Thy will be done’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ . . . No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it.  Those who seek find.  To those who knock it is opened.”

God created and provides unique hunting techniques and protection for burrowing owls.  Through the Holy Spirit’s power, our joyful surrender roots our identity as sons and daughters of God.  God is “lifting up His countenance” (Numbers 6:26) upon us.  He is letting us know that He’s fully present and giving Himself to us.  Third Day sings:

“Everything else will fade away, but what will remain are your words.”







About the author

Dave Henning

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