Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

5/30/2014 (9 months ago)

Blessings In Brelinskyville (brelinskyville.blogspot.com)

Entering Through the Narrow Gate

I guess, like my flocks, we get distracted by our vision of greener pastures. We forget that, in an unexpected hour, day will draw to an end leaving us vulnerable. Inside the fenced field the birds every needs are provided, but the ground looks bare after so much pecking and scratching. Sometimes our faith journey looks that way, sparse and dry on the surface. Then the world and all its enticements beckons our attention and lulls us into abandoning our only true security. We deem the gateway as too constrictive and commit to forging our own way.

No need to run around like a chicken, trust God.

No need to run around like a chicken, trust God.

Highlights

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Blessings In Brelinskyville (brelinskyville.blogspot.com)

5/30/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Blog

Keywords: chickens, gate, Good Shepherd, Brelinsky, free will


ZEBULON, NC - Holed up in the nursery, the baby had just drifted off to sleep in my arms. It was that blissful moment when eyes finally took rest behind their lids and slumber won out over a fussy little one. The tides of peace and calm had just begun to rise in my mama brain. Yes, that four-walled, pale blue sanctuary was fulfilling its purpose, quarantining us (baby and me) from the bustling household long enough to give rest a chance to settle in.

No sooner had those lids dropped and the tide rolled in, when the five year old Paul Revere rushed in booming, 'The chickens are out, the chickens are out!' Potentially as devastating as a British invasion, loose foul required a call to arms or my husband's fledgling garden faced certain doom. Of course, all tranquility vanished as the baby's eyes flipped up so as not to miss any sibling activity.

Light a virtual candle today

After an immediate rallying of the troops and a changing of the baby guard, I found myself running like a chicken with its head cut off around our backyard. Rake in hand, I tried to shepherd the free ranging foul (which is a bit like running in circles hoping to get somewhere besides where you just were).

Ducks aren't quite as spry as chickens so our web-footed flock readily turned tail and waddled back through the gate. The plump turkey might have stood a chance if not for his long rear plumage which served as a grabbing point for my daughter. But those quick and crafty hens, led by their respective roosters, had us circling through the shrubbery and garden. 

There we were (five of the kids and me) armed with sticks and rakes, like a farmers' militia, shouting strategies up and down the driveway. "Go here...no there." "In the bush...no under the van." Had someone clicked the video record button, I'm sure the scene would have merited entry into some Funniest Videos episode.

Two by two, the kids teamed up to corral the foul as I stood my post at the gateway to our chicken field. Standing there I couldn't help but consider the narrowness of that gate. Sure, just beyond it was a secure area complete with two hen houses, a watering hole and all the compost, feed and tortillas a bird could want for, but our egg layers didn't have the wisdom to weigh their options. In the moment, they were delighted to scour greener pastures and to scratch up piles of fresh mulch without regard to the impending nightfall and its lurking predators.

Opening the gate for the occasional redirected bird, I thought about the Good Shepherd's instruction. He told us simply to enter through the narrow gate because wide and broad is the gate that leads to destruction, and many are those who choose it. 

Most of our chickens avoided that narrow entry since the sun was still high. In fact, the majority that we'd managed to catch returned "home" via air transportation (they got tossed over the perimeter fence). Being creatures of habit, most would have returned to the hen house eventually, but not without leaving a path of destruction in their wake.

God's gift of free will ensures that He won't reach down and fling us over Paradise's perimeter. No, we must choose to direct our own steps down the straight path. Perhaps, our guardian angels might like to chase us back when we stray, but enforcer isn't in their job description (although sometimes I wish it was).

I guess, like my flocks, our vision of greener pastures distracts us. We forget that, in an unexpected hour, day will draw to an end leaving us vulnerable. Inside the fenced field the birds' every needs are provided, but the ground looks bare after so much pecking and scratching. Sometimes our faith journey looks that way, sparse and dry on the surface. Then the world and all its enticements beckon our attention and lull us into abandoning our only true security. We deem the gateway as too constrictive and commit to forging our own way.

Chickens are creatures of habit so most would instinctively head back once the moon rose, but their return would have met a closed gate.  Our job as backyard farmers is to protect our layers and we couldn't put all at risk for the sake of the errant few. Remembering the parable of the late comers in the field, we are assured that Christ's mercy endures for the sincerely repentant, but so too He recounted the story of the foolish lamp bearers who got locked outside missing the bridegroom altogether.

By day's end, through no small effort, the children and I managed to cajole or capture all excepting a handful of hens and their crowing leader, who'd hunkered down in a ditch beside the road (perhaps they were debating the reasons for crossing it). Had an owl or fox come calling in the darkness, those birds would have made an easy meal.

Our Good Keeper gave His all to open the strait for us and He continues to invite us in. Better than any farmer's provisions, we've been promised an eternal harvest if only we are docile enough to enter through the narrow gate before the latch swings closed. 

Tara K. E. Brelinsky is a home schooling mother of eight living children, with six more heavenly ones who intercede. Married to her childhood sweetheart, they make their home in North Carolina where they teach Natural Family Planning, grow a garden, raise two dogs, a cat, ducks, roosters and a flock of hens (in addition to all those wonderful kids). Tara studied journalism a lifetime ago in college, but now she writes simply for the the glory of God. You can read more of her musings and inspirations on her blog "Blessings In Brelinskyville" (www.http://brelinskyville.blogspot.com/). 
Shop now at Catholic Shopping .com

---

Tara K. E. Brelinsky is a home schooling mother of eight living children, with six more heavenly ones who intercede. Married to her childhood sweetheart, they make their home in North Carolina where they teach Natural Family Planning, grow a garden, raise two dogs, a cat, ducks, roosters and a flock of hens (in addition to all those wonderful kids). Tara studied journalism a lifetime ago in college, but now she writes simply for the the glory of God. You can read more of her musings and inspirations on her blog.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Blog

11 Reasons why Eggs are the Healthiest Food on Earth. Watch

Image of One little egg is packed with several vitamins essential to your health!

By Wendy RN., BA, MBA

Eggs contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body. including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin E, Folate and many more.One large egg contains (1):Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): 9% of the RDA.Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): ... continue reading


Thank you God for gifting me your relentless love.

Image of Domino Effect:  a situation in which one event causes a series of similar events to happen one after another.

By Jackie Stammen

There are consequences to every decision we make. With the decisions we make that are not pleasing to God, our loving Father tries to hold back the wrath that we bring upon ourselves as a result from those sins. However, as we sin more and more and as the sin goes ... continue reading


My Mangy Cat and Me

Image of Cats have a way of making their way deep into our hearts.

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

My heart leaped as I raced barefooted across the cold mudroom floor. Pulling the door open, I found our little old mangy cat sitting just on the opposite side. Bending down to run my hands across her dirty winter coat, she rewarded me with a deep satisfied purr. ... continue reading


What does Pray without Ceasing Mean? Watch

Image of 'Nowhere on earth are you more welcomed, nowhere on earth are you more loved, than by Jesus living and truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time that you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in heaven, and will help bring about an everlasting peace on earth.
~ Saint Teresa of Calcutta

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, St. Paul writes that we should 'pray without ceasing.' This word from scripture can have two very different effects on our lives. Either we can reject it as a pious sentiment that is 'not practical,' or we can allow it to transform how we ... continue reading


I Have The Perfect Time For You!

Image of Each moment you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament brings joy, pleasure, and delight to his Sacred Heart!

'My joy, my pleasure, my delight is to be with you.' (Prov 8:31)

By Michael Seagriff

I still remember Nina walking toward the pew where we were seated - nearly 25 years ago - with that challenging, inviting, loving, mischievous, welcoming, smile on her face. CANASTOTA, NY - 'I have the perfect time for you,' she announced.I glanced quizzically at my ... continue reading


You Knit Me In My Mother's Womb

Image of Psalm 139:13-16, A hymnic meditation on God's omnipresence and omniscience.

By Jackie Stammen

I journal a lot. In the past few years I've started to turn my journaling into more of a conversation. A conversation with God. This may seem odd or impossible to some people. Yet, I know many of you do the same. So for those who are a bit uncomfortable or skeptical ... continue reading


If there is any good in me at all, it is God. Whatever is left, that is me.

Image of Nurture your relationship with Him so you can see Him and know Him more profoundly.

By Jackie Stammen

Our pride likes to tell us that the good within us is because we are so great on our own accord. As we allow ourselves to increase, and God to decrease our egos inflate and we become convinced and deceived that we are actually the center of our own universe and we ... continue reading


Commit Your Way to the Lord; Trust That He will Act

Image of Our job is to pray and recognize God's unmatched power and presence, and to wait for Him to intercede on their behalf in the most practical ways.

By Chaplain Adele M. Gill

Life is chock-full of surprises; some are blessings, while others may be challenges. Our friend's son and his wife just learned yesterday that they are facing a serious medical challenge. He was just diagnosed yesterday with an aggressive melanoma, just days before the ... continue reading


You Can't Be Everything To Everybody

Image of God is the only one that is capable of being everything to each one of us.

By Jackie Stammen

You can't be everything to everybody. In fact, you can't be everything to any one single person. It's just not going to happen... simply because you're only human. NASHVILLE, TN - Do you ever feel like you're in the middle of a figurative human tug-of-war where you're ... continue reading


We're All Aftermath, Every One of Us!

Image of When you let go of the past, you are free to shape your future.

By Jackie Stammen

A friend and I were having dinner and talking about life, our past, and our future.  NASHVILLE, TN - There was a pause and then he said something to the effect of, 'I'm not sure anyone will want my aftermath.'I could relate all too well, and that's why my response ... continue reading


All Blog News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 37:21-28
21 say, "The Lord Yahweh says this: I shall take the ... Read More

Psalm, Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12, 13
10 Listen, nations, to the word of Yahweh. On the ... Read More

Gospel, John 11:45-57
45 Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 28th, 2015 Image

St. Venturino of Bergamo
March 28: Dominican preacher and missionary crusader. A native of Bergamo, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter