Next week I'm giving a talk to a local MOPS group about patience in parenting. (Don't laugh if you know me. It's really not about me.) I'm ending the talk with this because I think it's powerful. (See my website if you're interested in my talks.)
*Update* This talk has also been adapted for a general audience of women instead of focusing on moms.
|Public Domain image from YNP|
Wolves Reintroduced to Yellowstone National ParkYellowstone National Park has an incredible story based upon scientific research from the past twenty years when wolves were reintroduced to the park. We know wolves kill, but they also give life. After a 70-year absence of wolves, the elk and deer population had increased beyond human intervention in the park. The vegetation was nearly gone; the elk and deer had grazed it away. Forty-one wolves were introduced to the park from 1995-1997, yet they immediately began to affect it. Of course they killed a few deer, but more significantly, they changed the behavior of the elk and deer. These animals began avoiding the valleys and gorges where they could easily be killed. Those areas began to regenerate grass and vegetation. The once bare valleys became forests which brought the birds. Beaver began to increase since they liked the trees. The beavers dammed the rivers, creating habitats for birds, fish, reptiles, along with otter and muskrats and other creatures. The wolves killed coyotes. Fewer coyotes meant more rabbits and mice. So the hawks and eagles moved in along with foxes, badgers, bear, and weasels. Populations began to rise.
Wolves Change RiversMore amazing than that, the wolves changed the rivers. The regenerated forest stabilized the river’s banks. They collapsed less and became fixed in their course. So these wolves, who were few in number, transformed not only the ecosystem of the Yellowstone National Park, but even the physical geography of the park.
Parent Like WolvesIf these few wolves could affect the park in such big ways, what can you do today and tomorrow and next month that will transform your family? Your workplace? Your community? It really can begin with you. Can a change within yourself bring changes to your family dynamic? It can, if you allow the fruit of the Spirit to work in you by abiding in Him. As we give thanks for God’s mercy and grace, we must also offer grace to our families when they are not the people we want them to be.
Purposefully and prayerfully, we can let go of things that do not matter, so we can cling to people and the One who does. Choose today to be a worshiper instead of a whiner. A thankster and not a crankster. Time with God is our lifeline. Seek not to be successful as moms, but to be faithful.
***I would strongly encourage you to take a couple minutes to watch this powerful video that details a bit more of how the wolves changed the rivers of Yellowstone National Park.
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