When my brother and I were young, there was a pond in front of our house which for a short time had ducklings. Each day that we went to the pond there was one less duckling. We had no idea what was happening until finally one day we saw the last duckling being pulled under the water by a turtle.
As an adult, I wanted ducks again, so my uncle got eggs from a neighbor who had ducks. We incubated them for weeks until once again I had ducklings. One believed it was a cat and actually tried to nurse with the kittens we had. Another thought he was a dog and when he was grown herded the chickens into the pen at night. Although these ducks survived longer, eventually they also became victims of their environment.
Obviously I’ve not been very successful at raising ducks, but there are some life lessons to be learned from these creatures.
Following – Ducklings are often seen following the momma duck who protects them from predators. Isaiah 43:2-3 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God.” When we follow God, He will guide and protect us from getting eaten by the world.
Imprinting – Ducklings immediately imprint on whatever animal or person they see after hatching. This means they will copy the behaviors of that person or animal. As Christians, we need to imprint on Christ and strive to be like Him. Philippians 2:5 says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”
Rolling – I’m sure you’re thinking, “Are you crazy? Ducks don’t roll!” No, but ducks do preen their feathers which oils them so that water rolls off their backs. One of my favorite sayings when someone does or says something hurtful is “Be a duck”. Just as ducks expect to get wet, we should expect to get hurt. Its part of life. Rather than letting that hurt fester and make us bitter or seek revenge, we should let it roll off our backs and leave it with God. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:18-19)
Socializing – Ducks prefer to spend time in flocks rather than alone. We benefit from spending time with other Christians whether in church or other situations. Through socializing, we can teach and learn, encourage and receive encouragement, and be held accountable by people who love us and share similar beliefs. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.” (Hebrews 10:25)
Teaching – Some animals are on their own from the moment they are born, but not ducks. Momma ducks stay with the ducklings for only about sixty days, and about 90% die the first two weeks of life. Maybe momma ducks should do a better job of teaching the ins and outs of survival. We have a duty to teach others so their survival time is eternity in heaven. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20) We also need to be willing learners allowing God to teach us. “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.” (Psalms 143:10)
Does your Christian walk resemble the life of a duck?
Put God FIRST by Following, Imprinting, Rolling, Socializing, and Teaching just as the ducks do.