Friday, May 18, 2007

When a Duck QUACKS

Recently on a Saturday I drove into the parking lot at church and was the only person around. As I got out of my car I saw a mother duck. That is not unusual at all. But what was unusual was that as soon as I got out my vehicle, this mamma duck started toward me and she was quacking away a mile a minute. With each step, this duck’s quack got louder and louder. She actually followed me right to the door of the offices. How strange! I felt like I was in the middle of a weird Affleck nightmare.

A little bit later I went outside to catch a ride with one of our church members who was driving a dune buggy through the church lot. That’s when I noticed two couples from our church who were removing the heavy grate off the storm drain. That’s not an every day sight either. Why did these couples want to get down into the storm drain? Were they digging a tunnel from their chairs in the auditorium so they could make a quick escape when the Sunday sermon got too long or too boring?

The real issue was that these couples had discovered ten little ducklings that had fallen down into the storm drain and were stuck with no possible way that they could get out. Now I understood the actions of the mother duck when I arrived. She was trying her best to communicate to me that her babies were in trouble and needed help. Unfortunately, I don’t speak nor do I understand “duckese.”

That explains why this mamma duck was quacking, but let’s ask a more elementary question. Why do ducks quack in general? Why can’t they make some other noise? Why don’t ducks “moo” or “gobble” or at least “bark”? The answer is simple. Ducks quack because…they’re ducks. You can instruct them differently. You can scold them. You can preach at them. You can even yell at them. But in the end, ducks still quack. Why? Because they’re 'stinkin’ ducks! Ducks quack!

But how often do we take this approach with unbelievers? We look at the unbelievers around us and say to them, “Now if you are going to come to our church you have to quit doing this, change this, and get this out of your life.” Folks, listen, sinners sin. We can instruct them, guilt them, manipulate then and even threaten them, but in the end they still sin. Why? Because they’re unbelievers. How foolish it is to insist that unbelievers clean up their lives before they start attending church when in reality, they can’t truly change until they find Christ and receive a new nature through the regeneration of the Spirit.

Ducks quack. Why? Because they’re ducks. Sinners sin. Why? Because they’re sinners. That’s why here at Grace Church our purpose is to meet people “where they are” as opposed to “where we think they ought to be.” When we start by meeting people where they are we will be able to help move them to where God wants them to be. And for the record, all ten baby ducklings were rescued and reunited with their mother. When we are willing to meet people where they are, we too can be part of rescuing them and seeing them reunited with their Father and Creator. Now that’s a happy ending for a duck and a sinner.

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