We have had a pair of Great Horned Owls hunting our area for the past two months. I knew they were there because I could hear them. The male and female would begin calling back and forth late in the afternoon, and I would fling my binoculars around my neck and race out the door to try and spot them.
Almost every evening, their calls were all around me. I would hear them and set out in their direction, cutting through tick-infested brier and spiderwebby undergrowth, only to hear them now calling in a different direction.
I would switch directions and head toward their new calling spot, only to find within 100 paces that they had now moved somewhere else. So I would change directions again.
And again. And again.
This went on for weeks, I kid you not. I was determined but not hopeful. These big-eared, wide-eyed beauties easily sensed my noisy fumblings through the woods and wanted nothing to do with me. Escape was easy. They have wings. I do not.
One afternoon I heard them, yet again. I slowly walked down the road and then stopped to look up.
There, in perfect view, sat the female.
Her size and beauty made my breath catch in my throat. She sat and sat, gazing down at me. And I watched and watched and watched. After a while I realized, "The kids need to see this!" I ran back to the house to get everyone and when we came back out, we were rewarded with the male sitting beside her.
Good things really do come to those who wait.
Since that day I’ve only had one quick spotting, but if I never see a Great Horned Owl again, I can rejoice in that afternoon that I did. The male flew off, but as long as we were out there the female never left us. She allowed us to watch her for as long as we wanted, her patient gaze occasionally looking down at us, but for the most part unconcerned.
I wish I possessed the serene poise that the female owl seemed to possess. She was queen of her domain, high above us. She wasn’t concerned about what was going on below her. She seemed content to sit and watch. And wait.
May I always be ready to do the same.
"Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him." Isaiah 30:18 (ESV)