Knowing God’s Will for You

Ask any military expert: knowing when to attack is of vital importance. The ancient Romans knew this; and that is why, before any battle, they inquired of the chickens. You read that right. To discern whether or not they should execute their battle plan, the Romans asked . . . some chickens. But not just some ordinary chickens. They asked the sacred chickens. According to Roman religious practices, the will of the gods regarding an upcoming battle could be discerned by simply offering grain to a handful of sacred chickens. If the chickens ate the grain, it was a sign from the gods that conditions were favorable and that victory was nearly assured. However, if the chickens refused to eat, it was a warning that they should postpone fighting to another day. On the morning of the Battle of Drepana (that’s right, the one in 249 BC), the Roman naval