The turkeys that most interest me don’t grace our dinner tables but wander through our backyard. I’m not talking about a thanksgiving or Christmas turkey but about wild turkeys.
In the morning when I get up to put on the coffee, I invariably check the thermometer and then spend a few moments at the back window trying to gauge the day’s weather. So far this year, the wild turkeys have not appeared in our yard although we’ve seen them in the neighbourhood.
But one morning, a year or so ago, I saw a strange sight. High on the branches of our giant sugar maple, I could make out a scattering of dark blobs. As the light grew the blobs became a flock of nesting wild turkeys. Others were scattered in twos and threes high up in nearby oaks and pines.
I excitedly pointed them out to Mary Helen. Somehow we missed seeing them depart but that night I determined to lure them closer to the house by scattering bird seed. The next morning we again spotted them nesting for the night in our trees—safe from marauding coyotes.
For several days they came every night and departed every morning. Fortunately, this happened when the grandkids were around. So we all were delighted to keep a vigil each night for their arrival.
Then as suddenly as they had appeared, they vanished from our yard for the rest of the winter. On rare occasions we spied them crossing our road or feeding in the apple orchard nearby. They probably instinctively knew that they should vary their haunts to foil predators.
Wild turkeys, like many wild animals and birds, have to continually seek safety from their enemies. In this flock there were always some toms standing guard, turning their beady eyes in every direction.
Turkeys know that the price of safety is vigilance. As Christians we are very unwise to trust in our own strength, to be over confident, or to express unwarranted braggadocio. We should always remember, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe”(Prov. 18:10). Christ is our safety; his prayers our guard. No wonder throughout the Bible believers talk about the Lord being a fortress, a tower, and a rock. Let us be humble enough to often cry out to God for his aid and protection from the fiery darts of the wicked one. As we travel. Where we work. At home. During the day and for the night.