Do you find yourself feeling perturbed, or Imperturbable? I learned a lesson from a fox that taught me how to trust more, worry less.
He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.Mark 4:39
The Tourists and the Imperturbable Fox
Occasional bursts of light rain and wind twirled the vibrant fall grasses. The last leaves clung to trees. Up ahead, a few cars had pulled over beside the road.
“Maybe they see a bear!” I said. Pedro pulled over into a nearby parking area, and we both jumped out of the car. I had my camera and telephoto lens ready, hoping to see something other than a bison. Or an elk. But people created ‘bear jams’ in Yellowstone National Park for just about any animal.
The crowd of people looked over a canyon, where a flock of bighorn ewes and lambs dotted the distant hill. I snapped a few photos and looked across the road. A gorgeous red fox ambled along the side of the road.
“A fox!” I whispered as I nudged Pedro. I didn’t want to scare the fox away, and if I spoke too loudly, the crowd of people might swing around and scare it. The fox moved into the tall grass beside the road and paused, alert to some smell or sound.
I snapped photo after photo. More vehicles rolled to a stop and the sound of excited tourists filled the air. Imperturbable, the fox continued his quest. He tensed and sprang into the air, back arched, and tail curved gracefully behind him. He landed with his nose plunged into the grass but came up empty.
He looked at the growing crowd of people, and calmly trotted across the road, stopping to defecate. Imperturbable, indeed! As he trotted along the other side of the road, the crowd followed like a cart hitched to a horse.
After twenty minutes, the fox flicked his tail and disappeared into the woods.
Calm Amid Chaos
Ecstatic over the photo opportunity, I couldn’t help but shake my head in wonder at the imperturbable fox. By the time he went deeper into the woods, at least 75 people strained to get a better view of him.
Their excited chatter, the rumble of engines, and clicks of cameras didn’t deter him from his goal or routine.
I thought of my life. It seemed chaotic, indeed. Four teenagers (two mine and two foreign-exchange students) filled our home with laughter and energy. I had costumes to complete for the senior play, papers to grade, and a part-time job to make ends meet.
But the fox made me think. He remained imperturbable during the chaos. If I focus on the task at hand instead of wringing my hands over the chaos, maybe I would feel more imperturbable. Instead of worrying, I could rest in the knowledge that God has a plan. And if the plan involves a little chaos, God knows I need to learn how to trust him during all kinds of situations.
Do you find yourself more imperturbable in some situations than in others?