Observe. An owl observes his surroundings. He notices the slightest movement, even of rodents under the snow. Just as keen observation is vital for an owl’s existence, it is vital for Christians. King Solomon expressed the importance of observation as he penned, “I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw” (Proverbs 24:32). It does the owl no good to observe his surroundings and know where his next meal resides, unless he acts on that knowledge. Likewise, observing what pleases God yet ignoring those very things, only makes us rebellious. King Solomon said he observed and applied what he had learned to his heart. In other words, he acted on his knowledge and fed his soul with what pleased God just like the owl feeds himself on the prey he discovers from his observations.
Wait. The owl waits for the exact moment to swoop down on his prey. He sits on his perch, watching. He doesn’t rush. He doesn’t push. He doesn’t fidget. He calculates. He studies. He waits. At the appropriate time … BAM! Lunch is served. Similarly, Christians are commissioned to wait. If we try to rush or push God’s plan, we hinder His work. When we fidget, we often miss the mark completely. So we are called to calculate our plans through prayer. We are expected to study His word in preparation of the task He has set before us. Then at the appropriate time … BAM! God will reveal His glory, as well as His purpose—“Wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God” (1 Corinthians 4:5).
Labor. We don’t necessarily consider an owl’s hunting his labor. But that’s precisely what it is … his labor, his work. He observes. He waits. He swoops. Then he enjoys the fruits of his labor. Often we forget the importance of our labor. In today’s entitlement society, labor has fallen by the wayside. Christians even forget to labor for lost souls. We have somehow embraced the erroneous attitude that seeking those outside the covenant of Jesus Christ is someone else’s job like the pastor, the Sunday school teacher, or the church. Oops! We ARE the church. We are the ones commissioned by Jesus to tell the world about His redeeming grace. We are the ones called to observe, wait, and witness. In reality, obedience means labor … work for God’s kingdom. It’s not all about us seeking perfection. It’s all about our obedience in laboring for those who are going to hell because of lack of knowledge. If we are God’s children, if we’ve put our trust in Christ, we will not want anyone to perish because our Father does not want anyone to perish. As Paul wrote, let us “labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:10).
How about you? Which owlish characteristics do you possess?
See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks
The information on snow owls was derived from the site All About Birds. For more interesting facts about owls and other feathered friends go to https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/snowy_owl/lifehistory#at_behavior