Did you know that a moose sheds his antlers? I didn’t either. Until I saw the short video clip on Instagram, I thought the antlers were a permanent part of the moose’s head. Yet, right before my eyes, the moose stood for a second, shimmied from hind to head and with the shimmy, his antlers fell right off hitting the ground. The moose didn’t look back and galloped away in what looked like a hurried manner. There the antlers lay in the snow.
I watched it a few more times, as it was simply an incredible sight to see.
The moose didn’t look pained or in distress as he shook them off. And he definitely didn’t give second thought to what had just taken place. He literally kept moving forward.
As I took the formerly unknown phenomena into consideration, there were a couple of thoughts that came to mind. First and foremost, I wanted to know why the moose shed the antlers. Secondly, I wanted to know how this could relate to human life, spiritual life.
My curiosity led to a little bit of research, for the first question. I learned the antlers are used to attract a female moose. Once the moose has found his mate, he sheds his antlers. They get rid of what they no longer need (read that again), because it’s of no use. Those particular antlers are for that particular season and for that particular mate. The beauty of it is that the antlers grow back before the next mating season. Therefore, the moose always has what he needs when it’s time.
I could probably end the article there and allow you to process what’s been written. With a few minutes of contemplation, you can relate this process of antler shedding to your life, both in the natural and the spiritual.
As I relate the antler shedding process to my own life, Isaiah 43:18-19a (NKJV) comes to mind:
“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing.”
Let’s put that in context with antler shedding: If the moose decided to keep the antlers (the old thing), what would the consequence be for him? Would he miss out on the next mate (new thing) in the upcoming season? Would his head become heavy because of the old thing? Would the excess weight slow him down, as a result of holding on to the old thing? Would there be other effects later on in the life of the moose?
These aren’t questions for the moose only. They are also for us to think about.
What happens when we stubbornly, fearfully, anxiously (fill in the blank) hold on to what we don’t need — when we hold on to what we can no longer use.
How can we have capacity, energy, and time for the new thing, if we’re still remembering or holding on to the old thing? How will we get to the new thing that God has waiting for us?
As we head into the final month of the first quarter of the year, let’s be intentional with taking inventory of what we no longer need and what’s no longer serving us. Let’s be intentional with taking time to shed, so that we can be ready for the new thing, because it’s ready for us.