Don’t Waddle When You Can Fly

–Dr. Garry K. Brantley

Soren Kierkegaard, a prominent theologian of the 20th Century, tells a parable of a community of ducks waddling off to duck church to hear the duck preacher.

The duck preacher was in rare form as he quacked eloquently—and compellingly—of how God had given the ducks wings with which to fly. “With our amazing wings,” the duck preacher quacked with conviction, “there is nowhere we ducks could not go; there is no God-given task we ducks could not accomplish.” With the rhetorical skill of a master orator, the duck preacher ended on a high note, “With our powerful wings, we can soar into the very presence of God Himself.”

The duck congregation was caught up in the preacher’s words. Shouts of “Amen, brother, Amen!” were quacked throughout the duck assembly as they contemplated the possibilities that existed for their web-footed species.

At the end of this most moving service, the ducks left, quacking about what a wonderful, inspiring message they had heard…and waddled all the way back home. This humorous story packs a powerful punch, doesn’t it? God’s word is replete with messages about the possibilities that exist for His people. Hear just a few…

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26)

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Of course, both of these passages need to be taken in their respective contexts. In Matthew, God is able to work his miraculous work of genuine transformation in the hearts of those who appear to be hopeless. And, Paul, because of the generosity of the Philippians, was able to live at the extremes of life because of the residing presence of Christ. These passages remind us that we are called, and equipped, to live a radically different life…not by our own power, but by the power of Christ within. Now, that makes a difference.