"Proud as a Peacock!"

Recently, I read about a Peacock problem in Omaha, Nebraska. This caught my attention because we have a couple of close friends who live up there. The news was surprising to me since we made two trips there last year and didn’t see a single Peacock! It seems that this problem has been growing over the last few years and no one knows what to do about it. Aside from being annoyed by the birds’ presence and excrement on personal property, they can also show aggressive behavior that includes incessant screeching throughout the day!

Image Credit: Melanie Hughes, unsplash.com

Several calls have been made by residents to the Nebraska Humane Society, but they claim to not have the personnel or resources to address what many consider to be an unchecked bird population. The local Humane Society suggests that unless they harm someone or damage property, “Just let them be!”

Many years ago, I had my own issues with Peacocks. At that time, I was considering where to attend seminary. I was certain that I was headed to Southwestern in Fort Worth, but I wanted to visit Kansas City and check out Midwestern. We toured the campus and then heard about a church in the rural Leawood area that might be looking for a student pastor.

We drove out to the location and met a local farmer who was a member. He and his wife showed us the church building and then invited us to a delicious chicken dinner at his house. After the meal, we returned to the car to find three Peacocks “strutting their stuff” on the hood of my shiny white Dodge Charger! That was a hint to me that God might not be in the move to KC!😉

“Proud as a Peacock” is a well-known expression. Its origins, no doubt, come from the male Peacock who can fan out his brilliantly colored tail feathers some five feet to attract a female during mating season. There is a lot of pride in that spread! While a showy display might have some benefit regarding Peacocks, any excessive self-esteem, or an over-inflated opinion of oneself can be problematic when relating to others and especially to God.

Generally, I respect a healthy confidence in one’s demeanor, but arrogance can be offensive and unwise if it dominates our outward behavior. Humility is a better starting point! The Psalmist reminds us, “He (the Lord) guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” (Ps. 26:9, NIV). When I mentor young people about their career pursuits, I often recommend that it’s okay to honestly admit, “I don’t have all the answers!” This makes us teachable and open to God’s path for our lives.

I believe that God readily works with those of us who humbly submit to Him each day and prayerfully seek His will and purpose. And when we discover our purpose in Him, it brings Him delight to hear His children declare, “I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart!” (Psalm 40:8, NLT).

Let me have too deep a sense of humor to be proud.
Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.
Let me realize that when I am humble, I am most human,
Most truthful, and most worthy of your serious consideration.

-          Prayer for Humility, Daniel A. Lord, 
Jesuit priest and Catholic writer, (1888-1955).

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com




  1. Mike I have heard many stories of how young ministers discerned God's will for their lives, but peacocks strutting on the hood of a car is probably the strangest of them all. Thanks, Hollie

    1. Thanks, Hollie! There is more to the story and I will share it with you when I get to the Lone Star State soon! I look forward to seeing you at MoM's, my friend!


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