Kangaroos. Clearly the girls in our family didn’t get the memo about how to dress for our Australian kangaroo expedition. Weren’t we going to be driving through the nature reserve looking for those adorable creatures from the car? No, son, I am fairly certain I didn’t hear you say wear hiking shoes. Daughter, wearing heeled sandals with a darling ribbon wrap around the ankle, please back me up on this.
Regardless, there we were, platform shoes and all, walking through the Australian brush in search of kangaroos. Three menfolk and two womenfolk, five of us, split up and quietly peering down ravines and off yonder, hoping to spot a native hopper in the wild. We knew our chances were somewhat limited since it was early in the day and kangaroos are nocturnal animals; but we were seeking, we were on a mission, and we were determined. And as quickly as a joey jumps in its mother’s pouch, I heard it.
“Listen,” I whisper shouted. A rustling sound came from the bushes in front of my daughter and me and we froze. We watched as three kangaroos bounded out of the bush. The guys were a little ways off but caught sight of the hoppers and we all stared in amazement. And the kangaroos stared back. We were all frozen in a web of surprise. Until my daughter and I began to back peddle in our platforms, wondering what one does in a kangaroo stand off. Yes, they are cute as all get out, but a bit intimidating, too!
I began calling out to my son, who had some kangaroo experience, “Josh, Josh, what should we do….?” A weak little “ahh….” followed my question and I cursed the shoes I had worn, knowing the roo could easily take me.
“Mom, you’re fine! Just relax!”
Easy for him to say, he was further away and I was right in their path of escape. I stood quietly, daughter at my side, and waited for them to make the first move, my escape route firmly established. After what seemed like a very long time, the kangaroo gang finally hopped on their way. One more straggler shot out of the same bushes, giving us another quick shot of adrenaline, but he quickly followed after the others.
The fear left and the exhilaration followed and now we were desperate to see more. It was such a cool experience! I laugh now at my initial surprise and fear when I got exactly what I was seeking, what I was on a mission to find, and so determined to have. Isn’t that so like me? Isn’t that just typical of my human nature?
How many times have I asked God to reveal Himself to me? And how often am I surprised and afraid when He shows up in a big way. What about the times I ask God to send me a mission, an opportunity to serve Him, only to lose courage when the opportunity presents itself. Why, when I am so determined to have or do something, do I shrink away from the blessing when it bounds into my life? I set out on kangaroo hunts and find myself surprised and fearful when I find them. What’s up with that?
Lord, forgive me for those times when I have a spirit of fear and surprise when you reveal yourself to me in all the wonderful ways that you do. Give me the courage to stand when I find what I was looking for. Give me the confidence to embrace the blessings you put in my path. When I come face to face with the kangaroos I am seeking, let wonder and gratitude and exhilaration be my first response.
It is only through God’s spirit living in me that I have any hope of overcoming my human nature, as silly and contradictory as it is. I am so thankful He is compassionate and patient, aren’t you?
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7