I was visiting with a dear, dear friend a while back – a friend who is gathering quite a collection of ducks – ceramic ducks, wooden ducks, pictures of ducks and even a pair of duck earrings. Explaining that she needed them to remind her of an important truth, she told me the amusing story that motivated her to acquire such a collection.
It seems there was a teacher who told her students about the dilemma of a duck who had created for himself quite a problem. She then passed out paper and crayons and told them to draw a picture of how the duck could resolve his problem and get out of his terrible mess. After a short time, one of her students, perplexed and frustrated, approached the teacher’s desk and laid down his crayons and a blank piece of paper. When the teacher asked the young boy why his paper was blank, he replied, “Teacher, it ain’t my duck.”
Last weekend out in the Texas Hill Country, we had torrential rains which resulted in dangerous, life-robbing flood waters. It was in that deluge of water that a neighbor nearly lost his life when his vehicle was washed off the road into a surge of rushing water that plummeted him downstream into a lake. In utter dismay and helplessness, several residents and resort guests stood on the banks and watched this vehicle roll over and over like a tin can being pummeled by the rushing water. But three men, determined men, ran through rough country over a quarter of a mile, following the vehicle until it landed in calm water. Spotting the vehicle and the driver, they swam out about a hundred yards and brought the stranded driver to safety. They performed a heroic act, risking their own lives to pull another to safety. They didn’t “duck out,” they dove in.
Hopefully somewhere along the way, we develop discernment about when to duck, when to dive, and when something simply isn’t our duck. Life is a lot simpler that way. And just maybe in the discerning, we learn to put our own waddling ducks in a row—and prioritize them and make them waddle in their designated places. And while I’m lining them up, trying to let those unimportant things roll off me like water off a duck’s back, I must tell you how I’m enjoying the antics of the family of ducks that have taken up residence in the pond out in front of my window.
Image: CC Flickr Brian Smith