Heavy May showers bring strange birds

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May showers bring? It’s a hypothetical question, but if you ask me, they bring saturated fields, flooding and a calendar full of rescheduled sports events.

The weather last month was really something.

The Marion softball team missed its final six games of the regular season. I wasn’t certain the Class 2-1A state baseball games in Great Bend were going to happen. And the Class 2A golf meet, which began in Hesston on May 20, finally concluded nine days later. And I hear the course was still wet.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen as much rain as Marion County received in the month of May.

On a drive to Newton after the first set of storms rolled through, leaving flooding in their wake, I passed a saturated field brimming with water. And that’s when I saw them. White birds—seagulls—in the middle of that field. Some waded in the murky water, while others circled overhead.

The sight stopped me in my tracks.

Did those birds know what they were missing? They were flying over a puddle in a square patch of central Kansas farmland, when they could have been soaring above white sand beaches, the crash of ocean spray beneath them, at the coast. Or at least at the Marion Reservoir.

It’s not my intention to make a value judgment in favor of fields or sand. I love my home state and see much beauty in Kansas.

But when I stop to think about those birds, it seems natural that seagulls weren’t made to fly over soggy Kansas fields. There’s the word sea right there in their name. It’s who they are. Seagulls.

I wondered if those birds knew the possibilities. Did they know what lay beyond the horizon, beyond that saturated field along K-15?

I think we can be like those seagulls sometimes. The place we’re at now is familiar. It’s comfortable. And it’s hard to know what’s beyond the horizon. We may be content with the safe and familiar places, instead of spreading our wings and daring to see what’s out there.

I admit, I get a little hung up when I think about this, because contentment is a virtue, too. If what’s before me is a saturated field of water, I want to be grateful—joyful even—and not wish it away, even as I dream of the ocean. There’s value in blooming where we’re planted. So I hold these concepts loosely.

Yet even as I do, I believe we all have been created with unique gifts and talents with which we can make our corner of the world brighter and bring glory to God. It’s our joy to grow into those gifts and talents as we pursue our dreams.

I love this quote from Frederick Buechner: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

We certainly may not always have the beach in front of us, and that shouldn’t keep us from happiness. But that also shouldn’t stop us from dreaming.

So what’s your field? What’s your beach? Have you found it? If not, ask yourself what’s holding you back, then dare to spread your wings and fly.