Why ducks are smarter than me

My 4 year old said twice today,

“Mommy! Spring is already here!”

The second time he said it I was watching a flock of birds suddenly decide to move, in the way that only flocks of birds and schools of fish seem to do.

And then I realized, using the not-so-connected reasoning that drives my husband crazy, that ducks are smarter than me.

I have known most of my life that ducks fly south for the winter, where it is warmer.

But never had it ever occurred to me (until today) that this behavior pattern might be worth imitating.

I mean, really, why not go south for winter? And then, when the heat starts getting so overpowering that it is difficult to breath, go back up north?

Honestly, I am just a reflection of my upbringing in northern California.

Snow was seen in the town I grew up in one time (maybe a couple flakes) but that was years before I was born. And as far as summer, well, most of the homes in our subdivision didn’t come with air conditioning. We were close enough to the coast for the temperature to be nicely regulated.

Sort of pathetic, I know.

The result is that I spend an inordinate amount of time dreading, gearing up for and wringing hands about weather.

Husband: “What a nice day”

Me: “Well enjoy it while it lasts because in 2.2 weeks it is going to be miserable and the misery won’t let up until we are 70.”

<<Awkward pause>>

But here is the thing.

I’ve been learning lately that worrying doesn’t really help.

I know that I’ve been supposed to know this for a really long time, but let’s just say that lately it’s been sinking in on a deeper level.

I worried and wrung my hands and schemed and planned and tried to find housing in the States.

Did I find any? No. God did. And thank God He did because it is way better than some of the places I was looking at and prepping myself for.

Second, when I found out we would be leaving Central Asia, I combed the Internet looking for suitable jobs (or even quasi-suitable, or, dare I say, not-even-close-to-suitable) in the Atlanta area. I had a checklist (enough salary to feed and house our family, something with university students, something including teaching, potential job security). I worried. I wrung my hands. And I searched.

Ironically, the job that is materializing is one that I found at the very beginning. None of my anxious hand-wringing did any good.

When I look inside, I realize that my hand-wringing comes from an unwillingness to completely give my life into God’s hands.

For example, if I decided that I would let God send me to Siberia (Lord, remember, this is just an example!), I wouldn’t be wringing my hands about how to avoid the cold.

Or if I decided that God could take me down to my last dollar, I wouldn’t be filled with anxiety about how to hold on to my savings.

I realized there are two roads I can take. First, I can begrudgingly let God do what He wants while fighting it on the inside. Second, I can let go of the things that I’m holding on to so tightly (nice weather, stability or whatever it happens to be at the moment) and let the joy of the Lord be my strength.

I’m going to try to go with the second.

And honestly, God knows what we can handle. Who do you think sends those ducks down south every winter?

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