The 'BARKING OWL' always has something to say, and like the feathered version, can be either WISE...............or ANNOYING!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Peeling Meat off a Turkey Carcass--or--Resolving to Properly Flesh Out 2012

I just spent an hour or so digging into our Christmas Turkey.  No, I don't mean eating it finally.  I mean finally tearing every bit of edibility off of its bones.  It seems we didn't eat very much on the big day so there was still a lot of meat there.  I started with a big knife, cutting big chunks off the one undisturbed breast and one lame leg and thigh.  I cut most of these parts into shorter bite sized lengths and then tore the meat apart for whatever future applications come up, including the leftover casserole I made for dinner.  Then as I dug into the remaining work that only a matching pair of hands can...handle, I realized that I was looking back at 2011, as if in a quest to gather every good morsel that could be found in its sometimes slimy carcass.

Did you ever do that to a chicken's skeleton or a turkey's larger remains?  There are few chores that remind me more of the lamentable human condition we all endure.  Who are we really?  As Earth's vaunted accomplishment, supposedly standing on the evolutionary ladder's top rung, why do we essentially subsist as hunters and gatherers; scrounging, as it were, through the collected remains of others?  "Meat!"  We see it in chunks or hidden pieces and grab at it to live.  Vegetarians and Vegans live in the same world of dependency but have volunteered to limit further the answers available to their own primal need for food.

Whether the "breadwinner" literally chases down a wild bird in Africa's bush, or trades his white collar labor for green paper which later translates into dressed and cooked poultry on his plate, matters little.  Whether the bird lived his life fulfilled and at peace, or in dread of his doom matters even less.  In the end, it gets butchered, stuffed and served.  To live, we must eat.  To eat regularly, every day, for the many decades of our lives, good stewardship demands that we find each morsel hidden in the bones of an animal, and coax every acre of ground to give us its maximum fruit.  It insists that we peel a potato most judiciously, and use every part of a slaughtered pig for some good purpose.

I hear tell that there are some folks who never see raw food.  They are served a meal prepared by a thousand hands, and are left unaware and ignorant that their fare, coming to the table always "plated" just so is not a natural element simply captured like a breath, merely by inhaling.  Nonetheless, food is indeed literally wrought from the dermis of the earth through streams of blood, rivers of sweat, and floods of tears.  There is no "natural" food.  There is only food that is produced despite the weight of a curse.  The hard truth of our condition is that every turkey must die, and even this little steer will eventually have to be torn asunder for its nutritional worth to man.  Our sad condition in this world wrecked by sin requires animals to live and die for our sake.

How's That for a Happy New Year's Thought?  Not Much of one.  Sorry.

We start a new year in the morning.  And once again we will face a line of unknown days, each one anxious for us each to glean good use from its frame.  But instead of picking through the bones and removing what we need to survive, we are called to approach each day ready to give.  To fill its empty hours and minutes, first with the responsible work life requires to fill our bellies yes, but then with acts and attitudes of service, all reflecting God's loving image.

What better New Years resolution can there be than to commit to filling, rather than neglecting, God's requirements?  No, His requirements are not as specific as we might sometimes like.  He leaves the application of the following three ideas up to us.  Here on December 31st, who can truly imagine what he might end up doing, or not doing, in the next year if he resolves to take this charge from Micah 6:8 seriously?

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.

And what does the LORD require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

                                   Do have a Happy New Year!


  1. What a beautiful resolution to start the new year with. Thanks Mike. Happy NEW YEAR!

  2. Please check out the Meme Express for more New Years Posts!

  3. You've been on my blog kicking up dust Mr Miller and then you write so sweetly. I'm just saying.

  4. Happy New Year my friend. I do love your mind and your faith. :)


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