Monday, November 21, 2011

Why did the duck cross the road?

The very first day started my job, I drove across the Huguenot Bridge and headed up the hill to the right.  Immediately I realized that was a bad decision, because traffic backs up and moves really slowly-----I thought about how bad it was going to look when I called my first day to say I’d be late!
The next day, and ever since, I’ve crossed the bridge, turned left, and headed around the UR campus.  It’s been entertaining, as I’ve watched them tear down the old track and field complex, build the new stadium----one morning I followed a truck carrying a load of bricks, one morning I watched them use a crane to lift the bleachers seats over the top of the stadium and into place, and another day I watched as they used the crane to move huge glass panels up and over and into place in the boxes.  Last year they widened the road at the back entrance to campus, built a new sign at that entrance, and built a Frisbee golf course that borders the road in places.  It all serves to keep my commute interesting!
One of my very favorite parts is driving past Westhampton Lake, where it almost touches College Road.   If you aren’t familiar with the campus, there’s a 10 acre lake right in the middle, which originally was the ‘boundary’ between the men’s side of campus and the women’s side.  (Walter could probably tell us about the gate that closed at night and kept the men and the women on their respective sides.)  In the spring there are daffodils right on the bank near the road, and the trees all around are starting to bud.  Up on the hill at the far end of the lake you can see the chapel with its rose window above the doors.  In the summer, they drain and dredge the lake where the creek feeds it, so you can watch the water level lower and then rise when they start to fill it again, and sometimes you can spot “interesting” things that have been thrown into the lake over the course of the year.   In the fall, the trees turn beautiful shades of many colors, and you can see the reflection in the water.  In the winter, sometimes the lake starts to freeze in places, and if it snows, the lake really stands out against the backdrop of snow blanketing the surrounding woods. 
The lake holds a lot of special memories for me.  As a student, it was peaceful spot to walk with friends.  In fact, Brian and I spent a lot of our dating time walking around the lake, or sitting in the gazebo on the island in the middle of the lake and talking about life and our future.  When the boys were little, we often would go with a loaf of stale bread to feed the baby ducks in the spring, and see the turtles sunning on logs at one end of the lake. 
You know, those ducks have a great life.  They have a huge lake to live in and paddle from end to end.  Plenty of bugs and little fish and children throwing bread crumbs and whatever else ducks like to eat.  They have to be perfectly happy, living in such luxury.
But you know, more than once I’ve had to stop my car as I drove past the lake, because there’s been a duck, or two, or more IN the road.  Sometimes people actually get out of their car to try to “encourage” the ducks to move back into the lake.  It’s surprising that we don’t see more ‘flat ducks.’
One particular afternoon, I noticed that there was a large puddle across the road from the lake.  And sure enough, two ducks had made their way across the road to wade in the puddle.  I say wade, because it was only deep enough for them to step in. 
It made me wonder why?  Why, when they have a 10 acre lake, would they risk their lives to cross the road and just wade in a puddle, when they could be swimming back where it’s safe and large and full of everything they need?
How often do we do the same thing?  God gives us an endless lake to swim in, and everything we could possibly need, but we choose to go our own way, and try to satisfy ourselves by stepping in a puddle, when we could swim in a lake, if we’d only trust what God has for us.   Are you aware of everything God has provided?  Are you thankful?  For the large and the small things?  Or are you leaving the lake, and crossing the road to get to the puddle.

LUKE 12 
Do Not Worry
 22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

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