We have ducks in our neighborhood. Earlier in the year we saw two adult ducks parading around their five little ducklings. Now we not only have those seven, the babies are grown, but several others have decided to join the party – or perhaps they are spouses of the ducklings – I digress.
This brace of ducks (apparently they are a brace on the ground and a flock in the air) has two lakes to choose from. There is, of course, a road in between. So, off they wander, paying no attention to the large metal objects on wheels which usually roll up and down the road, they have somewhere to go, and they are going. We can all just wait. And wait we do.
It was the same when I was growing up. The two sides of the large millpond were separated by a road. In the spring the mother ducks would lead their little ones across the road with impunity – we even had a swan now and then. The cars waited and people watched. If someone a few cars back took to their horn, they would soon quiet down as they were informed everyone was waiting for the ducks. Civil unrest became likely if anyone did not just stop and wait patiently. I shall not repeat the name calling which ensued.
I don’d know what it is about the ducks that makes it OK to wait for them. We really do not wait for much of anything and if we do we get irritated. As we approach this season when we think about rest and return, when we consider recovering the ancient practice of Sabbath for our modern world, we might want to stop and think what it is that makes us stop and wait patiently. Does God, or our family ,or are we so pressured that it really is only a dozen ducks which will ever slow us down?