by Rick Founds 1999

The grumbling had become uncontrollable, it could be ignored no longer, and had to be satisfied. So, it was off to McDonalds for a Big Mac, Fries and a Coke - breakfast of champions.

The sun felt good as it labored to warm my hungry body. After purchasing my feast, rather than immediately wolfing it down, I decided to drive the few blocks and eat my lunch on the beach with the waves, the wind, and the sand. (Don't ever drop your Big Mac in the sand!) Sitting there enjoying the food and the ocean, I began to reflect on something I had read that morning from the book of James, chapter four verse eight: "come near to God, and He will come near to you."

It was as if God had been reading my thoughts, as indeed He does, and took the opportunity to clarify a truth with an illustration. A moment later, a solitary sea gull flew toward me from several hundred yards down the beach. He landed about eight feet in front of me and began to gaze intently at the familiar white and gold carry out bag that contained the rest of my lunch. I thought, "hey, why not, I can spare a french fry," and tossed him one of the salty golden delights. The next instant found me involved in a scene directly out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Everywhere, as far as I could see, screaming, squalling sea gulls, all screeching in unison... "Rick, give us your fries!" There they were, an endless mass of deafening seagullhood surrounding me, maintaining a perfect five foot radius. None dared venture closer.

Suddenly, out of the sky swooped a chocolate and cream colored, medium sized fellow with black feet, and one blind eye. He negotiated a perfect two-point landing, not six inches from my side. He stood there with his head cocked slightly staring at me with his one good eye. He didn't make a sound. I stared back. (with both eyes) He didn't move. I handed him a fry. As he took it, I was somewhat surprised that he didn't try to remove my finger along with it. He stepped two inches closer.

By now I was wishing I had bought a large order. I gave him another. the noise from the other sea gulls with all their screaming and flapping and carrying on began to reach dangerously high decibel levels. Yet, none of the others dared to draw close enough to receive the gift from my hand. So, ol' one-eyed-Jake finished off the bag all by himself.

When they were quite certain that the goodies were all gone, the rest of the gang took flight, and were off to pester some other poor unsuspecting picnicking soul. All but ol' Jake. He sat there long after the food was gone. He just sat there, at my side, looking at me.

Maybe he was just too full to fly away, I don't know, but I do know this; God spoke to me through that little episode. "When you come to worship me, take a lesson from this one-eyed, brown and white sea gull with the black feet. - The one who isn't afraid to draw close to me gets the fries."




Rick Founds is the author of some of modern culture's most well known praise songs including "Lord I Lift Your Name On High," and is currently the director of Comfort Zone Ministries. He can be reached at founds@flash.net or via his web site.