There is a rooster next door. Which would be insignificant if we lived in the country, but that is not the case. The family thought they were buying a third hen. I am not quite sure how that worked, but I have to assume it is possible. The rooster is apparently not so sure himself that he is, indeed, a rooster. His crowing has not been tremendously loud – though still annoying – but it is also not refined. He almost sounds hoarse.

I do not know whether it is attributed to his lack of experience or his cognitive insufficiency, but this rooster has no idea when he is supposed to crow. While he does crow in the morning, the crowing does not coincide with the rising of the sun. He is also prone to crow at any time of day, particularly if the hens are clucking. He began crowing about 11:30 the other night. Apparently, to this rooster, porch lights, airplane lights, or even lightning bugs resemble the sunrise to our neighboring rooster.

The rooster’s annoying crowing got me to thinking that we all go about our daily lives “crowing” about insensitive drivers, people who will not put their phones on vibrate during meetings or services, those who make us wait for no apparent reason, and the person who looks at us as if it is our fault when we know darn well it certainly is not. At the same time, we pray, and ask for God’s help to get us through some – ultimately at least – minuscule situation. A situation which must appear to God as relatively insignificant as those fleeting incidents that tick us off during the day.

All of us must admit that we know someone who constantly crows. About how good a Christian they are perhaps. About how they do not understand why people do not see things their way. And so on and so forth. Unfortunately, we must also admit that we do some crowing ourselves.

When it occurs to me – often in mid-sentence – that I am crowing on, shall we say, I try to quickly change course. After, that is, finishing the sentence that gave my mouth a bad taste. If I tarried too long over the line, my face goes flush with embarrassment. At least it feels like it does. I can recall times in which it was evident in the look on the listener’s face that I had indeed blushed. Their look also let me know that I had been caught crowing. Which made me want to become part of floor and slide away.

Maybe the rooster’s crowing irritates me because he reminds me how irritating I can be sometimes. Even though I’m not the only one he irritates with his incessant shouting. But when I am walking around the backyard complaining out loud about the people who bothered me throughout the day, I feel my face slowly become flushed. If I could see God’s face, I would see that knowing look. The look that makes me realize the only one I am fooling is myself. I am merely crowing needlessly. It then occurs to me that praying sincerely might be a good idea.

Peace be with you.