God has given each one of us a talent, with the purpose of us using it for His glory. When we do, it can give us great fulfillment in seeing the fruits of using our talents for the Lord. Perhaps He has given each of the animals a unique and exclusive talent as well?

Yesterday I was alone at a section of my favorite stretch of the Big Creek Greenway, about 2.5 miles from the parking lot. As I was listening and worshiping along with music in my ear buds, the Lord led me turn it all off. I believe He wanted me to talk to Him heart to heart in that solitary moment. I began praying, recognizing the awesomeness of GOD wanting me to talk to Him. A humbling moment, so I paused to reflect on just who God is…

To my left, I heard the hoot of an owl. Her voice was so distinct even though she was about 1/4 mile away. She called out, “hoo hoo” a few times, when suddenly my mind translated that into “Who Who?” It hit me: the Creator has given owls the task of asking everyone one simple question with one simple word: WHO?

It was as though the Lord wanted me to dwell on this question, and answer it….

(The owl hooted again.)
Jesus asks, “Who will follow me?”

(And again…)
Jesus asks, “Who will speak about and for me?”

(Another owl then responded by asking the same question.)
Jesus asks, “Who will sacrifice everything for me?”

My hope is that as you are reading this, your answers are YOU. But ask yourself why would you do these things for him?
– Is Jesus worthy of following?
– Is Jesus worthy of speaking of?
– Is Jesus worthy of your sacrificing everything?

I recall in the book of Revelation this passage, and I whole-heartedly believe it perfectly answers those questions. As you read these verses, put yourself in this scene, and imagine feeling what John might have felt as he experienced this.

“Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice,
“Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”
But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.
I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.

 “Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders…. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.
And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 
 And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

“Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
Revelation 5:1-12

The owl served its purpose that day for me, and asked through the repetition of one word if I was committed to serving my Lord by following Him wherever He may take me, for however long I may live, and no matter the consequences. That owl asked me if I was committed to speaking of Jesus to others, and sharing His words and heart. That owl questioned my determination to sacrifice everything; to lay it all on the line – my husband, my children, my home, my pride, my money, my story, and ultimately my life – for the man who already did all of that for me. I answered the owl back that day, and said out loud, “I WILL! I WILL!”

The next time you hear the hoot of an owl, let it be a reminder to you of your decision to follow, speak of and sacrifice everything for Jesus Christ. I promise you that it won’t be as difficult for you as his sacrifice was for us!
And, remember that doing so in faith of who Jesus is, you reap the benefits for life, both this one and for eternity.

Food for thought: Who in your life is holding you back from a commitment to Jesus? Who in your life is your greatest encourager in walking with Jesus and strengthening your faith?

Fun facts: A group of owls is called a parliament. Owls can rotate their necks 270 degrees, 135 degrees each way. Also, the eyes of an owl are not true “eyeballs.” Their tube-shaped eyes are completely immobile and fixed, which is why they have to turn their heads. This provides binocular vision which fully focuses on their prey and boosts depth perception, which helps as they are far-sighted. When flying, their wings are silent. There are over 200 species of owls living on every continent except Antarctica.

Photo by: Erik Karits (via Unsplash) – Owl