Another fun elk fact. Did you know their antlers can weigh 25 pounds each and grow up to four feet long? All of that work to grow them and they fall off each spring. Add to that, the Park Ranger shared in a presentation that elk antlers are the fastest growing tissue that we know about. They can grow an inch a day!
This elk broke one of his antlers and is unable to use it to protect his harem as effectively as if he had two full size antlers. Until these antlers fall off and new ones come, he is stuck with half an antler. Apparently this guy got into a tussle the day before and that may be why he and his harem were several fields over from the biggest field.
There are times in my life that I feel like I am growing an inch a day spiritually. There are other days that I feel like I am working with a broken antler. What can I do to increase the good times and decrease the “broken antler” times? This elk was all about getting the fresh grass. In the 10 minutes or so I was watching him, he didn’t raise his head. He stayed focused. I could learn from this.
Think about the things above and not things on earth. (Col 3:2, CEB)
Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matt. 6:33, CEB)
People whose lives are based on selfishness think about selfish things, but people whose lives are based on the Spirit think about things that are related to the Spirit. (Rom. 8:5, CEB)
For me to grow spiritually, I need to feed my soul with God-time and community. I need to focus on what I need to grow. When I get distracted, it shows. I get testy. I flunk self-care. I am not as productive. My antlers are broken.
The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him. (Col. 3:16-17, CEB)
Elk regrow their antlers each year. Why do I think that what I learn, or the areas where I have had transformation, won’t need additional tending, growth, or regrowth? Why do I think that these are a one and done kind of thing? It is not like driver’s license where for the most part you get it and unless something drastic happens you are good to go. For example, I will never be done learning to exhibit the fruits of the spirit. I need to receive those from the Holy Spirit daily.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. (Gal. 5:22-23)
So how does an elk break an antler? Probably fighting other elk, or immovable objects like a tree or a rock. While I didn’t see elk fighting, apparently it is pretty common. (You can Google it.) Or, there are apparently bear in that park as well. I guess it could have been fighting a bear who was going after one of the juvenile elk. (There were many signs saying to stay away from the bears. Duh!)
How am I breaking or damaging my God-given antlers, (tools or gifts)? On the flip side, and maybe even more importantly, how am I being overly careful with my gifts, protecting them, not trusting God to grow them back/restore them, if something happens?