Can you hear your Father’s voice in your chaotic life? An arctic tern chick taught me a lesson I’ll never forget.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”Isaiah 6:8
Looking for Rarities
After spending 45 minutes looking for a rare duck in a marsh next to a busy highway, I returned to my car triumphant. A group of photographers crowded near my front fender. “What do you see?” I asked.
“A baby tern,” a photographer replied.
Sure enough, right there, practically in the parking lot, an arctic tern chick blended in with a grey granite rock. The tern chick waddled on impossibly short legs over the bumpy surface of the large boulder.
I snapped photo after photo and finally paused to look at them. Suddenly, the baby tern squawked insistently. One of his parents swooped down and shoved a tiny fish in his mouth before I could get my camera back into position.
A Father’s Voice
I had other places I wanted to go, but the gawky tern chick mesmerized me. It calmly reigned from its rock, not fifty feet from a highway filled with rumbling trucks, zooming cars, and coughing RVs.
Hundreds of arctic terns and gulls wheeled overhead, calling to their chicks below in the marsh. Vehicles entered and exited the parking area, some pulling to within six feet of the chick.
The cacophony of noise threatened to overwhelm me, and I wondered if the tern chick heard anything at all. And then I noticed a curious thing. Within seconds of the baby breaking out in insistent squawks with his mouth wide open, a parent always appeared with food.
Somehow, despite the chaos, the chick could hear its father’s voice from far overhead. It would tip its head back and spread its beak as wide as it could, leaving the perfect target for an incoming food delivery. Sometimes, the delivery seemed more than the chick could handle.
Between feedings, the chick quietly wandered around the rock, preening, and stretching its undersized wings. It seemed impossible that those tiny wings would carry it on a 12,000-mile journey in just over a month.
More Than I Bargained For
Two hours later, I had hundreds of photos. As I crawled back into my car to head home, a sense of peace filled me. I want to be like the arctic tern chick, so attuned to my Father’s voice amidst a chaotic world that I spread my mouth wide and answer, “Here I am! Send me!”
Even if the sending involves tasks that seem overwhelming or more than I can handle. I know my Father will equip me and sustain me.
How do you hear your Father’s voice in your chaotic life?