Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Contentment & Peace- Lessons Learned from a Disabled Duck

Over the past few years my observation skills have greatly improved. This is due to the fact that I prefer to stay in my vehicle, which is safer for all concerned when it comes to such locations of torture and unbridled crazy behavior found in W...M... or other establishments. I have come away with some pretty keen insights, the birds love large parking lots. I have witnessed some really strange things, especially when people don't know they are being observed. When Donna does her hospital visitation in the Toledo area I usually drive. This gives her some time to relax. The most recent trip to one of the hospitals enabled me to observe and be challenged.

Adjacent to the hospital parking lot is a large pond. The pond is in sight of two sections of the parking lot and offers an observation deck for those wishing to sit and watch the ducks and squirrels. I stayed in the car and watched the different flocks of ducks. Some were in the water, most were on the grass that surrounded the pond. As I watched the feathered flocking fowl one duck stood out from the rest. He didn't really have a choice. As the gathering would scramble off to a new locale every minute or so this one duck stayed behind.

The duck in question looked like every other duck. He quacked like a duck, shook his butt like a duck, did every duck thing, except one thing. He could not waddle like like a duck. He was a disabled duck, a floundering fowl, a malformed Mallard. His left leg did not work very well. As the other ducks waddled in unison this poor guy just gimped along. I started to feel sorry for the guy. I thought that he probably really got beat up, verbally, that is, when he took time in the pond doing duck things. I imagined him unable to swim, sorry, paddle, in a straight line. All of the ducks probably quacked a sort of laughing quack as he just kept going in circles.

My thoughts of sympathy quickly vanished as I watched him. The other ducks always followed the lead duck. I have no idea what the requirements are to be the lead duck. I think it has something to do with your quack and waddle. Well, the others would run off after the head duck and Gimpy, my name for him, would pay no attention. He stayed in one place, and in fact  found more food in the place the others ran away from than in two or three places they waddled off too. He was content to stay in his place and look for what was provided. The grass clippings around him must have been filled with all kinds of goodies. As the others ran Gimpy enjoyed the bounty around him.

Gimpy looked like the rest of the ducks, he didn't use a cane or have a handicapped sticker on his back. Gimpy was content, he didn't try to catch the rest and he didn't play on their sympathy. I don't really know how they would sympathize with Gimpy. In the twenty or so minutes I watched Gimpy he didn't move ten feet. Oh, another thing about Gimpy, he didn't blame anybody, parents, siblings/ducklings, friends or foreign feathers. He accepted Gimpy and lived on.

Gimpy was a wonderful lesson to me. He was content in his present, enjoyed what was given, didn't argue with the provider and seemed in peace. A very good lesson for my present, I still fight the present, hoping my future will be like the past, before my disability. I want God to use me like He did years ago. Gimpy showed a  man with a heart for God, but a mind in the past, to live in the present, enjoy the provided and find contentment and peace in following the Lord with a different pace than before. Thank God I am not in some pond swimming in circles.

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