Ducks on the River Ness are not a rarity. Someone with a lot more knowledge about ducks could probably tell you exactly what kind of a duck it was. All I remember was watching it paddle up stream against the current.
Fish in the River Ness are not a rarity either. Further up the river, close to the islands, and further down the river where it becomes part of the North Sea, you can often see fishermen with their wellington boots that go up to their armpits and lines strung out, patiently waiting for the fish to take the bait.
Suddenly the duck I had been watching tipped up, tail in the air for a brief moment, and then disappeared beneath the water. He, she, or it, resurfaced a few metres further up stream with a fish in its mouth. Sunlight glinted on the silvery scales as the fish flapped a feeble fin.
Like enemy planes homing in on a munitions factory, the air filled with four or five huge seagulls. Some landed close by, while others flew in above in intimidating circles. The duck was seriously outnumbered and under attack. It was a short battle of vicious beaks and flapping wings and a chorus of seagulls' insults ripping through the air. The duck held out for a while, helplessly paddling in erratic circles. Finally, the duck dropped the fish, and the seagulls took to the air and left the scene as quickly as they had arrived.
At first I was glad that the seagulls had not snatched the fish away, but quickly came to realise that they might as well have. Whether the seagulls had stolen it, or if the duck had simply dropped it back in the water, the end result was the same. The duck had no fish, and paddled away on an empty stomach.
It got me thinking about the things of God that I drop because the enemy intimidates me. Maybe it is a promise or word that sustains. Perhaps it is a challenge to stretch me and provoke growth in me. Just like the seagulls, the enemy swoops in to drag away my prize. I think about the things God has challenged me and equipped me to do, that would bring glory to His name, and yet fear snatches away my confidence and I fail to rise to the challenge. The duck has an excuse. It was outnumbered and perhaps had no choice but to drop his catch. I however am never outnumbered, though my enemies encircle me, because I have God on my side.
But what about the parking place? I was thinking about the duck and the fish and the truth that I learned when God's Spirit spoke. To actually get me to walk by the river at just the right time required a lot of manipulation. I had gone into town to buy a new pair of shoes. I don't enjoy shopping for shoes. The shoes may be factory produced, but my feet are not. Shopping for shoes takes a long time. My usual parking space just beside the Museum was full. My next choice for parking had a two-hour time limit that under normal circumstances is sufficient. Shoe shopping isn't normal. My third choice for parking, because I was in that side of the town, was beside the Cathedral, next to the river. It is a bit of a walk into the town centre along the river path.
The shoes, the parking place, the duck, the fish, the seagulls and I were choreographed down to the smallest detail. It could have been just a coincidence, but I choose to believe otherwise. God could have just led me to a Bible verse that taught me the same thing, about holding on to promises. My God is creative! He is omniscient! He knows what catches my attention and what sticks with me. Some people prefer picture books to pages filled with words. The picture of the duck and its fish spoke volumes to me that day.
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Great inspirational article. It made me reflect on Psalm 23and Paul's admonition that we have power over ALL the legions of darkness. As a man, I loved "shoe shopping isn't normal" It was something my first girlfriens who just passed away the other day taught me.Thank you.