Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

5/30/2014 (11 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 (11 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

If You Want An Excuse, You'll Find One

Image of Your body is a temple. It's the place that God dwells within, so make it a house worthy for Him to dwell.

By Jackie Stammen

'Your body is a temple.' This phrase began to caress my thoughts and fuse it's way into my life until finally I had to face the truth of those words.  NASHVILLE, TN - I was tired - tired of feeling lazy and gluttonous. I was tired of my jeans being way too snug. ... continue reading


Why Christians Cannot Practice Transcendental Meditation Watch

Image of When we rest quietly in God's presence, we engage in contemplation. In contemplation we spend time with God in wordless silence, aware that he is with us.

By Rev. Mr. Ian VanHeusen

Before you think that this article is another stereotypical condemnation of Transcendental Meditation and other forms of East Asian meditation practices, I ask you to think again. Christians are not able to practice Transcendental Meditation not because it is immoral ... continue reading


Monday Musings - So What's The Rush?

Image of We should continue a silent and prolonged interaction with Him after Mass instead of joining the stampede out of the pews.

By Michael Seagriff

Many professing to be Catholic - even among those who attend Sunday Mass regularly - have lost the sense of the Sacred and their belief in the Real Presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. CANASTOTA, NY - The many reasons for this are beyond the scope of this ... continue reading


The Masterpiece of Living

Image of Life is like a spider web. Beautiful at first sight and looks simple to create but in comparison to the world around it, is actually more elaborate than it seems. In one swift movement, it can be taken apart, ripped to shreds, but that's when, with God's love, you learn to build up the strength to rebuild it and go on.

Have faith in God. Trust God with your life and with your future. Let go of fear. God is faithful and will in all things sustain and keep you. Do not be afraid. Only believe.

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

I guess that's why I spent part of my Sunday Mass distracted by them. Not because they were a distraction in the negative sense, but because they were a living picture of what it means to be faithful and faith-filled.  ZEBULON, NC - Without a word, he ... continue reading


Christians Must Get in the Game and Testify to Truth Watch

Image of Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a local Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus or Jesuits and, on 19 April 1541, became its first Superior General.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Chaos is at an all time high for sure in the midst of this on-going battle between good and evil. Before the age of internet, it took time to respond to a differing view. A letter to the editor or a phone call to your representative required you to invest real ... continue reading


This Beautiful Prayer is For You

Image of Never underestimate the power of prayer.

By Jackie Stammen

Years ago after a retreat I attended, the Lord gave me a prayer which I've since remembered, which is kind of amazing because if there's anything I'm not so great at it's memorizing things word for word. Thank God it's a short prayer and that He knows my shortcomings ... continue reading


Through Suffering You Can Find God

Image of By God's grace, no cross He sends will ever be too heavy.

By Michael Seagriff

Let me repeat some obvious truths. God is more powerful than any of us. He draws each of us to Himself. He wants to excite our hearts. He longs to fill our minds and souls with the Truth. He desires that we yield ourselves totally to His will. CANASTOTA, NY - We are ... continue reading


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


All Blog News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 44:1, 9-13
1 Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9
1 Alleluia! Sing a new song to Yahweh: his praise in ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:11-26
11 He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple; and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 29th, 2015 Image

St. Maximinus of Trier
May 29: Bishop of Trier, Germany, from 332, and a miracle worker. He was ... 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