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Follow the Light

Follow the Light

Our chickens love to run free in the yard. Occasionally one decides to rebel and not join the others when they go back into the chicken yard at dark. Such was the case with Jewel.

Jewel sat on the top fence rail seemingly confused about which way to go. From the outside looking in, it seemed that all she had to do was leap off and fly right back into the chicken coop. But it seemed the thought of going either way had paralyzed her.

My husband went out to close the coop doors and Jewel still sat on the fence. She looked behind her and in front of her trying to decide what to do. Her body language shouted fear and indecision.

Hubby gently lifted her from the fence and put her inside the chicken yard and Jewel continued to shake without moving toward her roost. He pulled out his phone, turned on the flashlight, and slowly began walking toward the coop. Jewel immediately began to follow the light until he led her up the ramp and safely into the coop.

Jewel is just a chicken. But she reminded us of the many times our children had been in the same position—scared, on the fence, not knowing which way to go. So what did we do?

  1. We watched them. It is always good to have an opportunity to assess how your teaching has been received and at what level. Sometimes we have been pleasantly surprised that after a while, the children were able to solve their own problems.
  2. We prayed for wisdom. Was it time for us to intervene? Or was this a time when our child needed to figure it out or suffer the consequences?
  3. We stepped in to offer minimal guidance. Sometimes they needed to be gently lifted off the fence.
  4. Finally, we showed them the light. As we trained our children, we helped them learn at age-appropriate times how to make good decisions. We continued to show them the Light of God’s Word both in family decisions and in making decisions for themselves.

We want our children to learn how to be strong, responsible adults. But that only comes after many nudges off the fence and many times lighting the way back home.

By: Linda Gilden is an award-winning writer, speaker, editor, certified writing and speaking coach, and personality consultant. Linda is the author of 18 books and over 1000 magazine articles. Linda’s favorite activity (other than watching the daily antics of the chickens!) is floating in a pool with a good book surrounded by splashing grandchildren—a great source of writing material!

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