Monday, November 14, 2016

The parable of Ginger the chicken

Because I'm a missionary and am living 1923 miles away from home and can only communicate with my family through email on Mondays, my family emails me every week with funny stories of what's going on at home.
A few weeks ago my little sister sent me a picture of a chicken in my back yard.

My family told me the chicken's name was Ginger and that it had been running around the neighborhood and they didn't really know where she came from.
It's been a few weeks since I've heard about Ginger the Chicken, but This morning when I connected to wifi and loaded my emails I read an email from my mom...
"So funny story," she said, "Ginger the chicken is still roaming the neighborhood. You have to try not to back over her when leaving the garage because she isn't smart enough to get out of the way. Yesterday when we got home from church, Skyler was the first one to the front door, Ginger was there and it scared him to death. He took off screaming and running. He is so quiet usually it was super funny."
I laughed for a minute just picturing my family try to deal with this chicken.
But I started to think about that chicken and what it represents in our everyday lives. Maybe it's because I'm a missionary, but everything seems to teach about the gospel. 
That's how the Savior taught after all. He took everyday things that people would understand and taught them the gospel.
So I decided I'd title this parable "The Parable of Ginger The Chicken."
For me Ginger the Chicken represents my comfort zone. As a missionary you have to get out of your comfort zone every day. It's not an easy thing to walk up to a random person on the street and tell them that God loves them, or at least it isn't easy for me. 
But I know each of us, no matter where we are in life, have things that make us uncomfortable. We all have times when we feel awkward and don't know exactly what to do. So Ginger the Chicken could represent anything that you struggle with really. 
So the first thing to do when we recognize the chicken on our porch is decide what to do about it. I've come up with a couple ways to cope with "the chicken on your porch."
  1. We can face the chicken with faith. We can let fear paralyze us, but if you do that you may find yourself running away from your fears the same way my little brother ran from the Chicken. As a missionary I've learned that when we face hard things it's better to face it with the Savior's help rather than just try to hide from it. Because if we just try to hide from our fears we'll find that just like Ginger the Chicken, they might keep showing up.
  2. We can laugh. Sometimes as a missionary you feel awkward. The best tactic I've found for feeling awkward is to laugh at yourself. Don't expect yourself to be perfect. After all, there is a chicken on your porch! 
"You can either laugh your way through life, or you can cry your way through it. I choose to laugh. Crying gives me a headache."
-Margery Pay Hinckley 

 3. We can collect the eggs. Sometimes trials are placed on our porch to help us. So we can try to look for the good that comes from them. Sometimes they are given to us to make us stronger.
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
-Ether 12:27
So whatever "Ginger the Chicken" represents. Just know that with the Lord's help you can face it with faith, you can collect the eggs, and maybe, just maybe it will make for a great Instagram post later in life.

Sister Whitney Reid
Florida Orlando Mission