Let’s Talk Turkey!
By Kathi Macias –
It’s November, and I want to talk turkey. Trust me. I know a lot about the dirty birds. I’ve spent my life dreaming of soaring with the eagles, but…well, you get the picture. In fact, something tells me I’m not the only one who’s spent more time with turkeys than with eagles, am I right? Unfortunately, in my family, the chances of breaking out of that worm-pecking, bug-eating flock on the ground to join that majestic bunch in the sky are just about zero and none.
Let me explain. My late father (who was never late for anything in his life!) lived by the adage that there was “a place for everything, and everything in its place”; the “early bird catches the worm”; and “if it’s worth doing at all, it’s worth doing right.” On top of that, he was German! And since I was the firstborn (and the only girl), I caught the brunt of his “how to become self-disciplined and accept responsibility” lessons. I learned them well.
Now, as a so-called grown-up, if I don’t arrive absolutely everywhere at least fifteen minutes ahead of schedule, I think I’m late. If something goes wrong within five miles of me, it has to be my fault. If it happened beyond that five-mile limit, it was also my fault because if I’d been there, it might not have happened at all.
You get the picture: overly responsible type-A firstborn, devastated when I receive a 98 percent score on a test because all I can see are the two I missed, volunteering for everything and striving to succeed—yet never quite making the grade in my own eyes.
Why does that make me a turkey? It doesn’t. But it keeps me from soaring with the eagles because I’m always looking down at the ground, hunting and pecking to see if I’ve missed a bug or a worm, or if the dirt needs raking or the sidewalk needs sweeping. As a result, I miss a whole lot of the soaring that’s going on over my head.
My two younger brothers, on the other hand, have always been just the opposite. Bob, the typical middle child, was oblivious to such things as dirt or worms or bugs because he felt no responsibility whatsoever to clean them up. After all, he already had me to do it for him! And Jerry, the baby? Puh-leeze! All he had to do was whimper, and we all came to his rescue!
Most people think firstborns are the ones who come out on top—the eagles, so to speak. Shows how much they know! Reminds me of the cartoon of the man walking his dog. The canine is having a great time, while the owner walks obediently beside him, carrying a scooper and a little plastic bag. In the thought balloon for the dog it says, “And he thinks he’s in charge!”
Firstborns are a lot like that. We think we’re in charge. We think we’re responsible. We think we’ve got it all together, but we also think it’s all our fault—everything! We can never just relax and go with the flow—which sometimes turns out to be an updraft that carries all who are willing on eagles’ wings, far above the everyday drudgery of turkey-type living. While everyone else is soaring and swooping overhead, we’re missing out because we’re still trying to clean up and fix the mess below.
I love and appreciate all that my disciplined father taught me, traits that enabled me to be a hard worker and a respected citizen. But sometimes we turkeys need to stop trying so hard and just look up—way up!—and maybe catch a whoosh of Holy Spirit wind and let God carry us for a while. I’ve heard the view up there is something else!
And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’d like a slightly different perspective than that of a turkey, wouldn’t you?
Kathi Macias (www.kathimacias.com; http://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com) is an occasional radio host (www.blogtalkradio.com/communicatethevision) and award-winning author of more than 30 books, including the popular Extreme Devotion series from new Hope Publishers and Valeria’s Cross from Abingdon Press. She and her husband, Al, live in Southern California where they spend their spare time riding Al’s Harley—hence, Kathi’s “road name” of Easy Writer!