Have you heard the phrase ‘getting all your ducks in a row’? (That’s row as in line, not row as in moving a boat with oars, or row as in having an argument). I am not entirely sure what the origin is of the phrase… perhaps it refers to the way in which ducklings seem to follow their mother in a line, or perhaps it’s something to do with the image above. The phrase refers to the need to be organised and schedule things in the right order so that you can achieve a task. Why that conjours up and image of ducks I don’t know.
But I have been trying for a while to get all my ducks in a row. You may have read previously bloggages I have written about needing to get things organised around moving house and the work that needs to take place here in order to provide an office downstairs. But it’s not just in big things that the anatidae need to be lined up in order. We need to achieve this task every day: you get out of bed before you wash; you put breakfast cereal into a bowl before adding milk (bowls are rather essential unless you eat directly out of the packet!); you put your socks on before your shoes… and so on. For the most part we do it automatically, without thinking.
Ducks can be dangerous once in a line because we can forget about them.
And it’s quite easy to do that with following Jesus: it becomes part of our routine – automatic. And in one way that is good. Following Jesus should be a natural part of life, we should be getting our spiritual ducks in a line. But if we do it without thinking we are in danger of losing some of the significance of what we are doing and why we are doing it. And we are in danger of taking it for granted and forgetting the astonishing truths about being a follower of Jesus – who he is, what he has done, that he calls us ‘friends’ and ‘siblings’, that we are able to pray ‘in his name’, that we can live life in Technicolor (R) rather than monochrome, that we need no longer fear death, that he is with us by his Spirit 24:7 and is with us even in the darkest valley… and so on. If we follow Jesus without thinking we are in danger of missing out on special moments when we read the Bible and pray and encounter him.
If we follow Jesus without thinking we are in danger of becoming fans rather than followers. And that’s a step on a journey that distances us from him.
Try to be conscious about your faith. Yes it should be natural, but give yourself some markers in the day to remind you that you are a follower of Jesus. For example, I try to use looking in the mirror when I am washing as a marker to remind me that I may need to ask him (and others) for forgiveness; I have daily emails that arrive from WordLive that share Bible passages and thoughts…
Don’t take your faith for granted. It’s far too important and amazing for that.
Be blessed, be a blessing