So I took a “spiritual retreat” last week. There were some things in my head and in my spirit that I really needed to get straight. I went out to the local park, Brookside Park, here in Ashland. I found a nice park bench and just sat there for a few moments. I really had no plans, just wanted to spend some time with God. I finally started to read about the kings of Israel and Judah and all the fun that they had trying to duke it out and find who was going to be on top. Although I love history (btw, someone should make that a movie), it was not really spiritually nourishing. I went back to watching the ducks in the pond…and I think I learned more from them than I thought.
There were about five families of ducks. Each family of ducks seemed to be in a different stage of development. There were the very young ducks, the ones that had just learned to swim. The mama duck kept pretty close to them. Then there were the slightly older ducks; the mama duck was close, but not too close. The third group of ducks were like junior highers, always wanting to run off and get themselves in trouble, but the mama duck was never far behind, honking her admonishments. The fourth and fifth groups looked like teenagers, getting ready to leave home for good. You could barely tell the difference between the ducklings and their mama.
Then there was the mallard, the guardian of the pond. Of course, he is regaled in his green-feathered head, very much looking like a warrior and acting like one. He would slowly circle the pond, for the most part, and if any, and I do mean any duck tried to get in the pond and did not belong there, he would honk and flutter his wings, and do his best to get those ducks out of there.
I guess what struck me the most is how much God is like a mama duck. By the way, this isn’t going to be some huge theological argument. It might even sound trite, but bear with me. I think that God lets us explore a bit on our own until we get to a point where we might go too far. He continually honks at us to let us know that He is there and when we might go too far, those honks get a little louder.
That mallard duck reminded me of a guardian. The church really needs those. Its not that we do not want people to come to church, but even in that, we must be on guard against those people that only come to us to stir up trouble, those “other ducks” that might only be there to destroy the pond, i.e., the church.
The rest of the retreat was great. I read some in 1 Peter and walked around and prayed. The biggest thing on my heart was Kandice. It has been so hard seeing God through all of this. There are times when I feel like he is just out of reach. I think that it is these times that he uses to test us. There seem to be many competing and confusing voices in my head and somehow I am supposed to discern the voice of God. It’s not easy, let me tell you.
June 22nd is coming soon, so please keep her in your prayers. You will be undergoing a total colectomy (her entire large intestine will be removed). We both covet your prayers.

I Can’t Do This – Plumb
Genre/Lang. : Christian
I woke up late. Guess I’m never really early. I hesitate, Only to fail. I get so tired Of procrastinating. I need a change. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this by myself. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. Oh God, I need your help. I’m standing still, Moved so peaceful. I can’t pretend That I’m fine. I get so ill, Crazy, agitated When I’m not really dying. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this by myself. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. Oh God, I need your help. Press into me. (Press into me.) Breathe the air. (Breathe the air.) Bask in me. (Bask in me.) You’ll be free To do anything. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this by myself. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. Oh God, I need your help. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this by myself. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. Oh God, I need your help.

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