Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ducks on Wheels

At the close of my silent retreat last weekend, I parked myself at a pond's edge and took to watching the ducks.  At first glance, and certainly my long-held, un-analyzed impression, attributed a peaceful existence to these winged beauties.  But, if you watch them for any length of time, you realize they are engaged in ceaseless activity!  While it is true, they don't generally make a lot of noise (unless they're chasing off another), they are not at rest!  They "duck" their heads under the water, repeatedly.  They raise themselves up by flapping their wings.  They preen their chests.  They preen under their wings.  They submerge altogether.  They follow.  They chase.  They paddle.  They quack.  They fly.

This makes me wonder about their restlessness, which seems ingrained in them.  Normally, I think of restlessness as the opposite of contentment.  Naturally, the question proposed itself.  Are ducks content?

Merriam Webster says content means pleased and satisfied.  Not needing more.

I'm not sure, but I think they are incapable of being content or discontented.  They are ducks, doing what ducks do.  They just are.

Maybe the restlessness/contentment contrast doesn't hold for ducks, but I think it has implications for us.  We seem to possess a similar restlessness.  We resemble the duck in his ceaseless activity.  We are ducks who drive cars.

But, we have an advantage.  The advantage.  The advantage of knowing our Creator and resting in Him.  We are limited by short attention spans, uncomfortable chairs, mercurial thermostats, whiny knees, the tiniest of hunger pangs, and a million assaults from the phone in our pocket, but we ARE capable of it.  And the more we practice this resting in the Creator, the more capable we become.

Lord, teach me to rest in You.  Amen.

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