Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How Not to Raise An Ostrich

When I lived at home in Amarillo, Tx my family would eat dinner at Granny and Pa’s house once or twice a week. On one particular night, my dad, mom and brothers were over and some other uncles and cousins. My Pa took his place at the table and became unusually quiet.

Our big family was crowded around the little dining room table while some of us stood at the bar to eat. After enjoying the meal everyone started visiting until Pa abruptly announced, “kids, y’all come on. I wanna show you somethin’” 

We stood up and waited for him to turn either to the basement or the garage. The basement was where he kept his collection of Avon trucker cologne bottles, and the garage was where he kept his rock tumbler and metal detector collection. We couldn’t imagine what else he might have accumulated and where, but this time what he wanted to show us was in the basement. The dark, brown shag carpet lined, basement.

Before I go any further, I need to share with you my limited knowledge of ostriches. Did you know that the ostrich is the largest living bird in the world? A baby ostrich grows 10 inches per month and can weigh 100 lbs. by the end of its first year. Full-grown male ostriches can grow as tall as 9 feet.

The natural predators of the ostrich are cheetahs, lions and leopards. To keep from becoming lunch, God created the ostrich with the ability to run at sustained speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. To raise Ostriches it is recommended to allow ¼ - ½ acre of land per pair. Now, back to the basement we go.

Slowly we descended down the stairs, filed into the small space to find ourselves hovered around an oversized incubator. Pa flipped on the light switch, pointed to the incubator and stood back with pride so we could all see. Contained in the incubator was an ostrich egg the size of a pee-wee football. We all looked at each other, somehow not surprised, but shocked all at the same time. This egg was glowing under the light and you could almost see it vibrate as the life of the largest known species of bird in the world formed beneath the thin translucent shell.

“What in the world, Dad?!? What are you going to do when that egg hatches?” asked my dad. “I’m going to feed it milk with a bottle, son. I’m going to raise it!” To which someone astutely responded, “IN YOUR BACK YARD?”

In the book of James we see the progression of sin laid out for us. James 1:14-15 says first we are tempted. When we are tempted we are being drawn away and enticed by our own evil desires away from following God. When desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin and when sin is fully grown it gives birth to death.

I am thankful for my Savior Jesus everyday. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you may have life and life more abundantly.” This is a promise, that through Jesus we can be forgiven and live an abundant life in Christ.

Thinking about growing an ostrich in your basement? It’s about as good an idea as following temptation. James 4:7 gives us some guidelines to avoid having full grown sin in our hearts, 
“Therefore, submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, 
and He will draw near to you.”

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