Dabbling Ducks

Dabbling DucksHere is a pair of mallards, a male and a female, dabbling. The term dabbling refers both to the feeding method of tipping bottoms up to feed in muddy shallow bottoms, and to the ducks who participate in this style of feeding.

I suppose it must be some kind of a character flaw of mine, but I get a kick out of watching dabbling ducks. Reminds me of the old children’s stories about ostriches hiding by burying their heads in the sand. Reminds me of teenagers ‘mooning’ passersby.

I am pretty sure the birds never give any thought to how silly they look. Instead they are simply interested in reaching the grub God designed them to reach. Other animals are designated to reach up and these fellows are designated to reach down. If they were humans they would be busy making comparisons and trying to figure out if life was treating them fairly, but the ducks are simply responding to their hunger and doing what is required to feed themselves.

We should be a little bit more like that. Quit worrying about how you look, what others think of you, and do whatever it is God has designated for you to do. Think about Proverbs 26:15 (HCSB) The slacker buries his hand in the bowl; he is too weary to bring it to his mouth. Take whatever opportunities are in front of you and don’t wear yourself out comparing your situation with others.

Recognize that such comparisons are equivalent to accusing God of treating you unfairly. Instead trust that He knows what He is doing in guiding you forward. But also note that the energy lost on the comparisons could be better expended in utilizing the opportunities you have before you.

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Rosy-faced Lovebirds

Rosy-faced Lovebirds

While in Phoenix this past week I traveled from one side of the valley to the other in order to attend my first meeting with the Arizona Mission Network. Since I had to drive through the traffic for the Phoenix Open, I left early. Arriving with some extra time, I found a park directly behind the office and did some birding.

To my surprise I found a small flock of colorful birds. I assumed them to be parakeets, but upon further research, thanks to my wife, discovered they were Rosy-faced Lovebirds.

These small parrots were escapees and while most escaped birds die out, in very rare instances they will form a breeding population. This is what happened in Phoenix and over the last 25 years they have increased in numbers.

These birds are a good example of thriving wherever God plants you.

The nature of our world is perfect for sowing discontent inside of us. No matter how good our situation is, no matter how well we have improved our lot, society presents a myriad of ways things could be better.

Because of this barrage of unrealistically grand lifestyles and gadgets, most of us can quickly come up with a list of ways in which life is short changing us. Discontent rules where idealism is unconstrained by reality or pragmatism.

In terms of living under a free trade system this striving for more can be beneficial to society. Unfortunately for believers it can be tantamount to distrusting God. We know from Scripture that He is always giving us the best. But with so much materialism surrounding us we can become distracted from what is truly best to focus on possessions.

It is always better to trust God. He knows how much we can take without being corrupted. He knows how much He can trust us to use for the blessing of others. Paul described it perfectly in Philippians 4:12 (NASB) I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.