Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion for May 25, 2016

Greetings!!

There is a really nice park where we go to walk. It is not one of those walks where we take dogs  - there are far too many other dogs there walking and our dogs tend to be a tad bit vocal when they see other dogs on a walk, so for the good of the peace and quiet of the nice park we leave the dogs behind when we go on this walk.
It is a very nice and peaceful location. Serene. There is a large creek which is actually the backwater for the local lake.  Along the creek is a raised boardwalk that not only runs along the creek, but through some beautifully forested areas; through some gorgeous wetlands.  
The creek most of the time, when it hasn’t been raining a whole bunch, is very slow and meandering and the water is so clear that you can see the bottom of the creek.  Leaves float slowly by and you can’t help but feel a peace as you walk there.    
My one granddaughter especially likes to walk at this park because as she walks along the boardwalk, well, as she runs along the boardwalk, she hears that plunk, plunk sound that you get when you are walking on raised boards.  She thinks it is really funny and just cackles as she runs.  She will scamper up ahead of us as we are walking, then when she is far enough away she turns around and darts back, reaches out for our hands and says, “run!”  We of course respectfully decline the running portion of the walk, but she is not discouraged and continues her running up and back and up and back and up and back, laughing every moment of the way.   
As you walk along this path covered through the natural area, there is a plethora of wildlife - we call it wildlife but because these animals are so use to all the people, they aren’t so wild anymore.  Squirrels will sit on the rails of the wooden fence along the boardwalk even as you meander by.  Beavers come up and do their dam building right beside where you are walking.  Little ground squirrels scurry around under the walkway and along the trees.  
Chirping birds are everywhere - along with a large collection of ducks and geese.
As you arrive at the park and leave the parking lot, the first area you come to is a large field.  This field is more often than not, filled with Canadian geese.  Doing what Canadian geese do -mwalking along and scavenging the ground for the bugs they eat.  The ducks are pretty interesting.  I love to see them as they fly along the creek and splash feet first into the water and begin to float.  It is just so neat to hear the big splash and almost immediately the ducks are slowly floating along, their little feet just paddling......
This time of year we have been watching the ducks as the new baby ducks come along.  One day we see the Momma’s sitting still in various grassy areas, and then it seems like in no time, out pop these cute, tiny, yellow ducklings, just chirping away. Walking tentatively along with their mother - never quiet!  (reminds me of granddaughters!)  
Since we go to this park at least 3 or 4 times a week, we have been keeping an eye on these little ‘babies’ as they grow.  It is interesting that one of the great hallmarks of the growing duck babies is the amount of yellow you see on them.  
The very baby, baby ducks are all yellow and as they grow, the yellow begins to become less and less.  One day we go and we see the little peeping babies that are all yellow and have grown a little taller with a longer beak and the yellow begins to become mottled with some grays and browns  and you come a few days later and the ducklings are a little bigger and a little less yellow and a more gray and brown….. until one day you see the same little ducklings that are still a bit smaller than their Mommas but all the yellow is gone and you know it is just a matter of time till they begin to fly off on their own.  
Such a wonder to watch these babies grow and to watch their mothers and they guide and push and model and even discipline their little babies.  The mothers are so patient, sometimes keeping her charges close at hand and sometimes sitting closely by and letting her young ones wander a little bit far away - and if they get too far she calmly goes over and ‘suggests’ in her duck mom way they stay closer.  Several times another duck has come close to her babies, and Momma goes into action, quacking and flapping her wings and doing all she can to protect her ‘children’.
Isn’t this just like us and our relationship with God?  Scripture tells us how we are like babies when we first become close to God. We grow in our faith and understanding of who we are as children of God and there is a visible difference in our lives - just like the fading yellow on those baby ducks as they grow.  
Most of the time we are pretty faithful and we follow God as the ducklings follow their Mom - but then there are times when we stray; God does all he can to round us back up…….
What a great picture to know that as we grow and change and become more faithful, God will always be there for us - just like a Momma Duck!

Amen