Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chillin' Like a One-Legged Duck

Last spring, on a weekend-long double date to Disneyland, I was riding in the big blue boat, just about to enter Small World, when I looked over my shoulder and saw this duck. Now, Disneyland is full of wildlife--ducks and rabbits and cats all roam around freely, but this duck wasn't roaming anywhere. Look closely...the little fellow was balancing on one leg.

Nelson, husband of our double-date couple, is an avid sportsman and hunter, and he told me about ducks that--due to tourists and campers over-feeding--sometimes ducks will stay at a lake or pond long past the time when they should be migrating. And unexpected freeze will come, trapping them in the water. The only chance they have is to flap their wings and pull themselves out--sometimes leaving a leg behind. Sometimes it's a necessary sacrifice; other times, it's a matter of panic. A few hours' waiting might bring out the sun, warm up the ice enough to make it break.

Speaking of break--my heart broke for that little duck, probably because I know exactly how he feels.

You know what I mean--life is good, life is easy, you're just swimming--unruffled on the outside, paddling like crazy underneath--and then...Freeze. Maybe it's one too many obligations, maybe it's the sure thing that didn't turn out to be. A broken relationship, a financial crisis, illness, betrayal, death.

You can't move. You're frozen, and it's either sit and starve, or flap for freedom. Because there doesn't seem to be any hope for a thaw. And the sun seems so slow... I can't tell you how many legs I've lost because I was too impatient to wait for warmth.

But, then again, I look at what happened to that little duck. Somehow, he ended up nestled in a land of topiary, still and peaceful as boatloads of happy people pass by. How did he get there? Only God knows--but surely God loves this little Duck. And, you might be an odd little duck, but He loves you too! When you feel life freezing around you...wait. And if you've already flapped your leg off, know that He will carry you. He's a big God in a small world.

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