Marching In Circles

by | Feb 8, 2010 | Encouragement, God, Inspiration

Another great story from Charles Swindoll…

Think It Over
by Charles R. Swindoll

A bazaar was held in a village in northern India. Everyone brought his wares to trade and sell. One old farmer brought in a whole covey of quail. He had tied a string around one leg of each bird. The other ends of all the strings were tied to a ring which fit loosely over a central stick. He had taught the quail to walk dolefully in a circle, around and around, like mules at a sugarcane mill. Nobody seemed interested in buying the birds until a devout Brahman came along. He believed in the Hindu idea of respect for all life, so his heart of compassion went out to those poor little creatures walking in their monotonous circles.

“I want to buy them all,” he told the merchant, who was elated. After receiving the money, he was surprised to hear the buyer say, “Now, I want you to set them all free.”

“What’s that, sir?”

“You heard me. Cut the strings from their legs and turn them loose. Set them all free!”

With a shrug, the old farmer bent down and snipped the strings off the quail. They were freed at last. What happened? The birds simply continued marching around and around in a circle. Finally, the man had to shoo them off. But even when they landed some distance away, they resumed their predictable march. Free, unfettered, released . . . yet they kept going around in circles as if still tied.

Until you give yourself permission to be the unique person God made you to be . . . and to do the unpredictable things grace allows you to do . . . you will be like that covey of quail, marching around in vicious circles of fear, timidity, and boredom.

Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers).

Do you ever feel like one of the quail…marching in circles, getting nowhere in life, looking at the same surroundings with each time around the circle, possibly afraid or timid to step out to become all God made you to be?

I know I have, and I still do sometimes.  We like what’s comfortable.  We like security.  It’s scary to step outside of that circle, isn’t it? 

God has cut us loose…loose from the bondage of fear, timidity and boredom…loose from walking around in a monotonous circle…loose from getting nowhere.  God created someone and something wonderful in each of us, and he desires for each of us to become all He has created us to be!  Have you had thoughts of doing something new?  A new or different job?  Volunteering somewhere?  Working with children or the elderly?  Does something keep coming to your mind, but you dismiss the thought with, “I can’t possibly do that because….” or “There’s no way I can do that because…?”  Could it be possible that God is prompting you to make a change…and to help you become the person He created you to be through that change?

Why do we have to be so predictable?  Why not shake things up a bit?  I’m not saying to go crazy and act out on our sinful desires, but within the boundaries God has set before us, why not be a little unpredictable?  That’s one reason I like to change my hairstyle…it’s new, it’s different, and it can help me be unpredictable! 🙂  I like to be a little unpredictable with my children…having fun with them in certain ways that they may not expect, like (heaven forbid) throwing a ball in the house! 🙂  I like to be a little unpredictable with my husband…doing something that may surprise him or something he won’t expect.  I like to rearrange our living room furniture…in fact, Zach suggested just the other night that we need to do that again!  🙂

I encourage you to take some time today, and ask God if he’s calling you to do something unpredictable, something out of your circle.  Give yourself permission to make a new path…the ones we’ve been on awhile are looking more like circles all the time.  Give yourself permission to allow God to help you become the person He created you to be.  Instead of marching, I believe with His help, you will FLY!

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