Head Coach: Maybe Isaiah was from Texas Hill Country
By Lane Johnson
Recently, my wife and I had an opportunity to steal away for a couple of days. It's always nice to step out of the usual routine from time to time and do absolutely nothing for a spell. The setting was a delightful bed and breakfast in the Texas Hill Country. Each morning after a delicious gourmet breakfast, we took our coffee onto the veranda and read books under the shade of several oak trees. During the hot afternoons we took naps. In the evenings, we sat on the porch of our cottage overlooking a beautiful pond. Or, at least, what I assume must be a beautiful pond if and when it is filled with water. Only, it wasn't that weekend. The drought had taken its toll on the place and our little private pond was a gradually sloping hole with a sandy bottom.
Ironically, the dry pond provided a setting for some entertainment we would never have witnessed otherwise. As the sun set, this large jackrabbit hopped out from behind the brush. He rummaged for awhile along the bottom of the pond, then nestled into the dry sand. He lay very still, in clear view, seemingly oblivious to the risk of any predators. Shortly, another jackrabbit entered the pond. The two darted about, taking turns chasing each other.
I was reminded of my elementary school days when we chased girls during recess. The girls would run and scream. The boys would chase and grin. Occasionally, we would catch a girl. To this day I'm not sure whether we actually caught her or if she just let us. Either way, the outcome was always the same. We all just stood there. No one knew what to do. It was the chase we were after. Knowing what to do once the catch was made was information we wouldn't have until years later. So, we stood around, awkwardly for a moment, and then the chase was on again.
As the two jackrabbits took turns chasing each other, I had this visceral notion that they weren't second-graders and knew exactly what to do. It would have to remain an assumption, however, because the sun finished its journey behind the horizon and all went dark. The next morning I peeked out the window. Those two jackrabbits were still there. Last night wasn't just a chase. It was a rendezvous.
After breakfast, we went back to the veranda with our coffee and another good book. I didn't do much reading that morning though. There were too many chases to watch. Not the jackrabbits this time. But, everyone else. And the oak trees were the playground. I watched two cardinals chase each other from tree to tree. A couple of mockingbirds followed suit. Then, the sparrows joined in. From time to time a two birds would take to the sky in chase like planes in a dogfight. Underneath this aerial show were two squirrels playfully chasing each other up one tree, across the branches, and down another. Even the bees seemed to be pursuing each other. The most amazing chase, however, was the hummingbird in hot pursuit of a chickadee.
While everyone was chasing each other, there was a feel to it that no one was being aggressive or trying to defend anything. They all seemed to be having fun. In fact, the whole place carried an air of playfulness. It felt like we were in a Disney movie with Bambi, Thumper, and Flower. Only this wasn't a movie. It was real. We were in the presence of something special.
Sometimes we get to witness the manifestation of prophecy. "The wolf will live with the lamb; the leopard will lie down with the goat; the calf, lion, and yearling will play together; and the cow will feed with the bear."
It occurs to me that this sort of playful, peaceful goodwill may be happening all around us. If we are willing to see it, then we might just be invited to join in. My wife and I were invited that day in the Texas Hill Country. So, I chased her. You know? Chasing is a lot more interesting when you're not a second-grader.
Lane Johnson, M.Div., LPC, is a licensed counselor. He welcomes your comments. You can contact him by e-mail at lane@StrategicConnectionGroup.com.