I was having a particularly stressful day recently, and a dear friend suggested that I get away for an hour or so and take a walk in the park. He knew that I walk nearly every day several times around my neighborhood, but on that day, he insisted that the Lord had something to say to me there. Being aware that trail walking burns up to 80% more calories than walking on a flat surface, I had already been thinking about checking out what the park had to offer, so I put on my running shoes and made my way over to the park to explore some of the many winding, heavily wooded trails that surround a large lake.
Much to my delight, the trails were both challenging and beautiful, meandering through stately water oaks and thick stands of Georgia pines. Occasionally the path would lead right along the edge of the water. I stopped for a moment at one such small clearing to take in the beauty of the lake, and I noticed a beautiful pair of Mallard ducks milling around in the shallows among the lily pads. They were a busy couple, but I noticed the light brown hen always stayed close behind her colorful mate.
I pressed on down the path and was greeted by the familiar couple again each time I came to another clearing. As I made my way around the lake, I was amazed at how much water the ducks covered despite never taking to the air. I studied them intently for a few minutes, and noted how much they seemed to enjoy their journey, feeding on algae and small fish while effortlessly gliding through the water.
I wondered why the ducks, having the ability to quickly fly the length of the lake, chose instead to swim. Suddenly it occurred to me that while for ducks there is a time to fly, one must but stay in the water and put forth a consistent effort in order to harvest the abundance around you. We humans can sometimes become discouraged when our plans don’t take flight on our schedule, when we should be content to glean the harvest at hand. Perhaps the ducks, having no pressure to perform, are content just being who they are and doing what they do.
Thank you Lord for giving us the gift of an eternal perspective. Help us to not keep score by earthly standards, and keep us ever mindful of You in the midst of all you have called us to.