Monday, July 29, 2013

Feeding Ducks (and Geese)


My autistic son Brock and I fed bread to the ducks at the park today. It is more fun feeding the ducks now that the geese are gone. For several months there was a small flock of Canadians who invaded the lake and then hatched and raised a batch of goslings. Geese are bullies. You could throw a piece of bread towards a duck and a goose would swim over and steal it. Even the sight of the goose with that long neck stretched out swimming toward the bread would cause a duck to turn and swim in a different direction. The geese would walk the bank and stick out their necks and hiss at everything in sight. They acted like they owned the place. But the ducks were there first. And the city of Fairfield holds title to the real estate. A few weeks ago we were throwing pieces of bread on the lake and trying to make sure that the ducks got their fair share. I noticed that three ducks had waddled up behind us on the shore. We were standing between them and the geese. I flipped a piece of bread over my shoulder and they quickly ate it unhindered by the geese. I continued giving pieces of bread to Brock and he would break the bread in pieces and feed the ducks. But he had noticed what I had done. Now he would break the bread and about every third piece throw over his shoulder to the ducks behind him. Survival of the fittest is the way of our world. But somehow we need to learn that just because one is bigger, meaner, more clever, has a longer neck, can hiss louder, and move quicker, does not mean they are entitled to everything. Sometimes the solution is as simple as being a barrier and creating a distribution plan.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Putting Away Childish Things


During the Sunday School hour this morning two eleven year old girls spoke to me about being baptized. I talked with them about their faith journey and what it meant to be a believer in Christ and the significance of baptism. I helped them understand our tradition of “coming forward” during the concluding hymn of the worship service so that together we could express their desire and allow the congregation to rejoice with them. They said they were going to do that and at the conclusion of the morning worship they walked forward together. A thirteen year old boy came as well and allowed us to rejoice with him in his decision to follow Christ. It was a good day at North Side Baptist Church. But as our worship service was unfolding today I observed a subtle action that demonstrated a great truth. I noted that the girls did not come to the front for the children’s sermon as they usually did. I smiled inside. I thought to myself, something has changed today. They have made a decision to follow Christ and that has served as a right of passage for them to sit at the back and observe the children’s sermon rather than be a part of it. They have grown up. I wish all believers could understand the Apostle Paul’s admonition that when we grow up it is time to put away childish things.

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