ostrich

Hiding Like An Ostrich

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ostrichThanksgiving is over, so I won’t talk about turkeys. Let’s talk ostriches. (Go with me here. It will make sense eventually.)

You know how an ostrich hides, right? It sticks its head in the sand and leaves its tail feathers (and the rest of itself) exposed to the whole world! Sort of defeats the purpose of hiding, right?

I’m about to lay out a carefully thought-out argument detailing why Christians should avoid hiding like ostriches. Vital information…

Hiding on the Mountain

Since I seem to get very little writing done at home, I’ve recently taken three and four-day trips to hide at a friend’s mountain cabin. On one such trip, I hurried up the winding, bumpy roads between Northwest rain showers. I’d been home for eight days and written a total of 3,000 words. While on the mountain a few days of the previous three weeks, I’d written 10,000 each week. I needed this hiding trip.

It was mid-November, and much had changed since I’d visited my mountain haunt. The deciduous trees had shed their colorful leaves, and the reclusive mountain homes were suddenly exposed. Dwellings I didn’t know existed were suddenly laid bare behind naked limbs.

Perched Above the NeighborsHIDDEN like an ostrich

I arrived at the mountaintop cabin, unloaded my supplies from our old green truck—port-a-potty, research books, gallons of water, and laptop. I then walked onto the balcony to take in the beauty. A storm was coming, clouds moving over the eastern ridge, and as I looked at the valley below, I noticed a house I’d never seen before. I felt a little like a peeping Tom–a peeping Mesu–discovering its hiding place.

The house was painted green, like the trees around it had been before winter stripped their leaves. The roof was a dull gray–like the Washington sky–and I marveled at how well these stealth neighbors blended into the landscape. How many times had I looked over them–in their carefully-cloaked mountain house that faded into its surroundings?

My Truck–the Ostrich

truck like an ostrichI continued my stroll around the corner of my balcony and noticed my truck’s tail-end sticking out from under the car port. I’d pulled under to unload and left the front half covered—in case it snowed.

I chuckled to myself (because there’s no one to hear me on the mountain!)–and that’s when I thought of the ostrich. I’d hidden my head but left my truck’s tail-feathers exposed. If it snowed, I still had to clean off the tail-end! Duh!

Hiding in Christ

While I was contemplating how silly I was, a Scripture came to mind:

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”      Col. 3:3

I stood there looking at my half-hidden truck and was perplexed by the metaphor—am I hidden in Christ like an ostrich or like the carefully-cloaked house on the mountain?

The question sent me to Colossians 3 to read the context of the verse, where I discovered the difference between a well-adapted Christian and a tail-exposed believer.

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”             Col. 3:2-4

It’s All In My Mind

If I’m getting my tail-feathers blown off repeatedly, chances are my mind is not set on things above. I’ve likely allowed things in this world to consume my thoughts and therefore my heart.

We’ve moved past Thanksgiving, and most of us have quickly–and I mean SPEEDILY–entered our Christmas preparations. So, are you half-hidden or carefully-cloaked? Don’t be an ostrich and think you can hide your head–it’s our MINDS that matter.

A carefully-cloaked believer is consumed with Jesus. Our minds are constantly on Him and what He’s doing in the world around us. Whether snatching the last great deal off the shelf (right before the other guy grabs it) or serving in a soup kitchen, I should ask myself, “How does this moment fit with His ultimate plan?”

Are You Exposed or Hidden?

If your tail-feathers are showing, it’s not too late to do a little remodeling. Quiet your heart before your God. Ask Him what to set your mind on today. And then step into HIM. Become hidden in His presence. Consumed by His thoughts.

I can’t think of any place I’d rather be—not even in a mountain cabin.

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Today’s Questions:

  • What are some of the distractions that keep you from being carefully cloaked—making it tough to stay focused on things above?
  • What are practical ways we can stay “hidden” in Christ?

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