“Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” Jude, verse 21
A duck video clip online recently spoke to me.
The church I used to attend has a mother and father mallard that make a home in their courtyard. Surrounded by four walls and home to beautiful plantings and sunshine, the courtyard provides a safe haven for the mallards to make a nest and have ducklings. The only problem is that the ducklings cannot fly up over the walls and roof to a nearby pond across the parking lot.
So every year, the church staff watch the ducks closely and know when it is time for the mother to lead her babies to the pond. They take video of the excursion and post it online. They open the door to the courtyard, and the mother mallard waddles through the doorway into the church narthex with her brood plastered to her tail feathers, their little legs churning as fast as they can to keep up with her. She leads them across the carpet, past the receptionist desk, to the two sets of double doors, which the staff leave open. They waddle outside, down the sidewalk, and jump up onto a median with wood chips and flowers.
The ducklings run as fast as they can to keep up with their mother, but there is always a straggler. He (or she) is at the end of the pack, trying to keep up. I was amused as I watched the straggler this year, attempting a jump up a curbside that was over twice his height. Over and over, he jumped, yet each time missed the ledge. The mother looked over to see what was happening and with one more hefty jump, he was up, running as fast as his legs would take him to catch up to the leader: his mother.
Lately I have realized that I have lost some direction. Pulled by transitions, new opportunities, responsibilities, and just plain distractions, I have neglected my prayer life and straggled behind my leader, Jesus. I am that little duckling now churning my legs to follow God’s direction, even as I am discerning what that direction might be.
And a soft quiet voice whispers to me, “Get closer.”
Get closer. Those ducklings followed their mother with an urgency ingrained in their animal brain. An urgency that kept them literally as close to that mother’s tail feathers as they could get. No way they could get lost and wander off because they were so physically close to her.
Get closer. When life blows up at us and our minds are churning over every direction and new challenge, that is the time to get closer to God. Get closer. Get right by the leader. Get right next to Him. Through prayer and quiet time, we can have that closeness. We can get closer because Christ enables us to do that through His death on the cross.
Where is God our leader leading you today? Get closer. Find out. And follow as fast as your legs will take you!
Prayer–“God, you are good and gracious, yet I sometimes neglect my time with you and distance myself. Then I run to catch up. I pray today to be closer to You. To spend time with You and hear your voice. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”