The Ducklings

Jan 1, 2021 1467

The Ducklings

I want to warn you that this is not a happy story. It has a terrible ending. But still, it has an important lesson for us.

Some time ago, I was driving down the motorway at 110 km per hour (almost 70 miles per hour). I was in a line of traffic in which all the cars were doing the same speed. My wife was following in another car immediately behind me.

Suddenly ahead I saw a mother duck and her eight or nine ducklings following her, all in a row. They were crossing the motorway and were already starting to enter the middle lane. I was horrified, thinking that the car ahead of me would hit them. But it didn’t. Then I thought that I would hit them. As I sped past I thought I had, and I quickly looked in the rear vision mirror. I hadn’t hit them. But my wife behind me did. Let me just say that what I saw in my rear vision mirror wasn’t a scene suitable for children.

There was nothing that could have been done. At the speed at which we were travelling, there was a high likelihood that we would have died if we had swerved or braked.

I try not to think about it, since it brings back the terrible memory of those poor, little ducklings walking across the motorway all in a line. They did nothing wrong. They were just following their mother. I’m also sure that the mother was of course innocent and well-meaning. But amid all her good intentions, she had no idea what she was getting her family into when she decided to lead them across the busy motorway. And the poor little ducklings simply followed the duckling ahead.

You will follow whoever’s voice you are listening to.

Jesus warned people not to follow the religious leaders of his day, called the Pharisees. He said,

Leave them; they are blind guides If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14, NIV).

Jesus told the people to respect them, and to listen to what they had to say, but not to follow them by doing as they did.

So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach (Matthew 23:3, NIV).

I’m sure that that the mother duck had led her ducklings to many delightful ponds and shady grass in the past. But it was just this one decision to cross the motorway that led to their downfall.

In the same way, as much as we should respect and even love the most important people in our lives, none of them are infallible. All of them have made big mistakes in their lives at some point or another. You need to be careful when you follow any human being. That could be anyone: celebrities, our teachers, our politicians, our friends, or even our parents.  I’ve certainly found in my life that much of the advice I’ve received, even often from well-meaning people, has not been helpful, and sometimes harmful.

God doesn’t want us to be like the little ducklings crossing the motorway.

But there is someone whom you can safely follow all the time, someone who won’t lead you out into the middle of the motorway. That person is Jesus. He says,

I am the good shepherd…15… I lay down my life for the sheep…  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me (John 10:14–15, 27, NIV).

When you follow Jesus, he doesn’t get you killed. You follow him because he laid down his life for you.

What we need to do is to learn to listen to his voice. It’s not always easy to hear the voice of Jesus above the busy traffic of our lives but it’s the only safe course.

God doesn’t want us to be like the little ducklings crossing the motorway.

You will follow whoever’s voice you are listening to. Who are you following?

Eliezer Gonzalez

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