Ducks in rows


“I’m changing a diaper, Bud, what do you need?”

“I need youuuuuuuuu.”

“Hold on, I need to wash the poop off my hands…”

“I need you NOW- the toilet is overflowing!!”

I run up the stairs, hoping the freshly-changed toddler doesn’t follow and fall down the stairs.

After that I thought maybe I’d actually pour that cup of coffee.

But then the toddler dumped mini, plastic hair ties all over the other bathroom floor, and the preschooler needed to go potty.

Ok, that coffee.

But it was really quiet… where’s the toddler? (She was dumping out Great Grandma’s jewelry in the master bedroom)

“Mommy, hold me please?”

“Can we have pancakes?” (says the boy that has already gotten out a bowl and spoon and ingredients, and placed them on top of the stack of bills on the counter)

Hang on, guys, I want to pour my coffee.

“Mommy, hold me?”

Then came the school hours, after deciding that nothing would happen successfully until the toddler was down for a morning nap.

But school isn’t as fun as Lego time, and when crazy has ensued since the moment we were all awoken by, “MOM, SISSY NEEDS TO GO POTTY”, it’s rather difficult to carry the ‘cheerful’ banner.

Sip some of that coffee. Take a breath. We can do this. Maybe.

Finally one boy is finished and scampers off to play with a sister. I’m still elbow-deep in numbers and handwriting and phonetics, looking at the clock and deciding that instead of more coffee, I need to turn on some worship.

The play in the other room gets noisy, and I step into the doorway to observe.

Little hands are raised in the air, little bodies swaying to the worship I turned on. Little knees jump and twirl, unafraid, unhindered, unaware of the explosion in my heart. They start shouting their own words and sounds overtop of the music, shouting real worship over the recording.

Amid all the crazy, today was victorious, because of this moment. They’ve got it figured out, so much more than I do. Those little hands and little hearts and voices can worship in the middle of all the crazy. They don’t need ducks into a row first… ducks being in rows doesn’t matter much to them, because their hearts are still free.

I’ve decided that spiritual tools, well-equipped hearts, secure identities, and hunger for and habit of worship are more important than ducks in rows.

1Timothy 4:7-8
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

I find it so difficult to live this out. The world, and my own head, shout at me to teach my kids to make their beds and sit still and obey and to keep my house clean and my makeup done. But those things are all ducks, and need to take a back seat to the pursuit of a steady, worship-filled heart. I was created to look Jesus full in the face, and let my heart freely respond in awe.

When I let the little details of life shout louder than my worship, I forget who I am and what I was made for.

I was created to look Jesus full in the face, and let my heart freely respond in awe.

Putting ducks in rows doesn’t need to be eliminated from my life. God designed ducks to get themselves into rows… look at how ducks fly in “V” formations. His designs are orderly and creatively patterned. Order and pattern are good for us, and I’m not in favor of eliminating those things from my life.

I am in favor of learning to walk in who I was made to be (a worshiper!), and letting the order and pattern of my life be formed by the still, small voice that never shouts.

Contributed by Anna Parkin