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  • Writer's pictureDean Moyer

Following Turkeys

During our twelve years of living in the mountains of North Carolina, we saw a fair amount of wildlife on our property; a bobcat, snakes (not my favorite), turkeys, deer, etc. One spring, I was standing at the large window of our dining room, overlooking part of our property, and for some reason, I had my camera in hand. Suddenly out from the brush came a rafter of turkeys. A dozen or so of them scampered up the hill in fright. While that was pretty cool, what followed was more remarkable. I noticed something at the end of the parade of turkeys that was not a turkey. It was a baby deer, a fawn. Turkey, turkey, turkey, deer. (Sorry, not the best photo, but you get the idea.) Apparently, she was lost or abandoned, or distracted. Who knows? But this little fawn had taken an interest in these turkeys and followed. Up the hill, they all went. Eventually, this would not end well for the fawn, for the turkeys had no interest in her as they sought to escape from something. Fortunately, halfway up the hill, the fawn stumbled on its rickety legs and stopped. It was for the best. My second chance at a picture found her resting and waiting for rescue from mom wherever she was. 

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My question is simple today. Who or what are you following? Who or what has your attention? 

Following begins in the interior of who we are. When we say, “she’s following the wrong crowd,” the crowd is not really the problem. Our concern is “why” she’s following the crowd. What’s going on inside, where choices are made? The bible calls this the heart. The heart serves as the rutter for action, the decision-maker. You may have heard these words of Jesus: “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21) Jesus is saying that the heart demonstrates what we treasure, who or what we follow. Get the heart, the motive right, following rightly, follows. 

I’m reminded of this Proverb: “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” (Proverbs 14:12) This is the path of the turkey follower. Where does this find you today? Who or what are you following? Whoever or whatever it is has been determined by what you treasure the most. Are you following turkeys? Are you ready to get on a new path? Here are four essential next steps: 

1) Stop and Wait. Often this is the most challenging. The pace of our lives is unrelenting. But unless we choose to establish a regular rhythm of stopping, resting, listening, we can find ourselves subject to all manner of “turkeys.”  

2) Remember Your Identity. Remember who you are and what you are endeavoring to be or do. We all have a design, and I believe, a purpose. Remembering or discovering who you are and why you are here at all is essential. This can be challenging if we are consistently looking at the path of others. 

3) Commit to Others. Our little fawn demonstrates one of our greatest hazards: being alone. The pursuit of identity, dreams, goals, purpose, you name it, is not a solo sport. All manner of trouble awaits us, inside and out. We are easily disoriented, distracted, and discouraged when we are alone. I invite you today to connect with a friend, a coach, or a group of like-minded leaders and commit to not being alone. 

4) Pursue Your Treasure. This may not be easy. You’ll likely find yourself running against a rafter of turkeys. But it will be toward something or someone who is life-giving and laden with real treasure.  

What I’ve suggested above offers the possibility of realigning your heart and motivations to a meaningful and purpose-filled life. What do you think?

  • What might be some evidence you are following turkeys?

  • When was the last time you took 30 minutes to stop and ask yourself some hard questions about your path?

  • Who could you talk with today to consider an alternative path?

  • If I can help, I hope you’ll consider this an open invitation.

Make it a great day...for someone.


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