November 14, 2008
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When I pulled into my driveway in the late afternoon and stepped out of my car to get the mail I noticed my flock of white homing pigeons flying overhead. What a beautiful sight, those white birds soaring above the tree tops! It apparently was their last lap of the day for I saw them fly to the coop at the back of our property, make their landing and walk into their home for the night.
I’ve figured out what I like about raising white homing pigeons (a switch from the chickens I used to raise). It’s not that I like cleaning up pigeon ______ (you know what). It’s not that their young are cute. I presently have three baby pigeons and they are the ugliest babies on earth! They don’t get pretty until they get to be adults.
What I like about homing pigeons is that they, well, they come home! Don’t get me wrong, they all haven’t come home in the past. When I first let my flock out last spring about half of the 16 birds flew the coop… for good! But the ones who stayed enjoy their freedom of flying about (they seem to have an invisible flying track they stick to) and then enjoy coming home to roost. It’s a pleasant feeling to watch from the ground as the birds fly overhead and be able to say, “Those are mine!” I don’t have ultimate control over them, they could leave anytime, but they don’t, and that is what’s so pleasing about raising them.
I think the same reason I keep pigeons is why God keeps people. By keeping pigeons I mean I care for them. I provide them a home, food and water, and any other attention they need. By God keeping people I mean the same. What apparently delights God is that He has set us free to do whatever we want and that we can, and some of us do, decide to keep flying back to Him. Part of the metaphor is, however, reversed. I watch my pigeons high and lifted up from my position on the earth. God watches His people on earth from His position of being high and lifted up.
Every day, and several times a day, my pigeons “fly the coop.” When I’m home I watch them and observe that they make the decision to not fly far (to stay within sight of me and home) and to fly back again. You and I “fly about” our daily tasks but let’s not fly far from God and His ever watchful eye and lets be flying back to Him throughout the day.