I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, usually they last all of a week or so, but I have discovered over the past few years I do like to talk with God about the New Year. I love spending some quiet time with Him and hearing Him speak over the coming year deep into my heart. The news lately has been filled with the controversy surrounding Duck Dynasty, the hit reality TV show. Honestly, I have paid less than full attention, partially because without cable vision I have never even watched the show therefore I won’t put in my two cents on the controversy. This morning as I was praying God seemed to be pointing me toward the word dynasty. As I prayed and thought more about it I could not quite understand why God kept pulling me back to this word that up until now has been a long ago evening soap opera or more recently associated with a duck call (of which I have never used). I decided to look up the meaning and found that Miriam Webster describes dynasty as a family of rulers over a long time; and/or as a family/team that is powerful or successful over a long period. Aha! Now I understand a bit more. In the New Year God is calling me to be part of His dynasty and frankly that’s an invitation I cannot refuse!
God’s dynasty? Sure, why not, thousands of years and still going strong……a family/team (Christ followers) successful over a long period, definitely! So yes, I want to be part of His dynasty. Being part of a successful team requires diversity, loyalty, and genuine faith in the team. So what member of the team would God call me to be this year? A duck? Ducks are interesting creatures….on water they move gracefully and freely, but on land they seem to waddle to their own offbeat tune. Their quacking increases in intensity when they feel threatened yet seem to sing almost a lulling tune when paddling peacefully alongside their mate. Hmmm, sounds a bit familiar, walking in the Spirit gives me grace and freedom, when I ignore His whisperings and turn away my days become awkward and difficult to navigate. When I focus on the threats of the enemy my ‘quacking’ becomes intense but when my Spirit acquiesces and focuses on Jesus the tune in my heart becomes comforting and peaceful. Yes Jesus, I’ll be a duck if that is your will.
Maybe God is calling me this year to be more like a Moose? A moose has poor eyesight, relying more on other senses such as hearing and smell. Though they can be aggressive when startled, moose in general are slow moving and sedentary preferring to peacefully exist in their habitat. God’s Word tells us, we live by faith, not by sight. Perhaps I could take a lesson from this magnificently strong creature? Living more by faith and less by sight, meandering slowly so as to peacefully exist in my own ‘habitat’. These past months have taught me the importance of slowing down, soaking in His faith in order to maintain a quiet strength. Yes Jesus, I’ll be a moose, if that is your will.
An immensely social cat, living within a community and dependent upon each other for survival the lion is perhaps one of the most beautiful wild creatures. A pride consists of male lions with a primary role of protection and female lions with a primary role of hunter with both males and females contributing to the raising of the young. God’s message to me in the form of a lion is clearly community. Over the past three years God has richly blessed me as I have become a member of a community of friends that truly act as a pride. We each have distinct roles; yet we come together to support and raise each other up in our spirituality and faith, and we won’t hesitate to roar with prayer when one is in need. Yes Jesus, I’ll be a lion, if that is your will.
A devotion and loyalty to mate and family so strong that when one is injured another will guard the injured until it recovers or dies is just one characteristic of a goose. Geese have strong family values and are surprisingly loyal creatures who will joyfully greet family from which it has been separated even if only for a short time. Strong values, loyalty to family members and a willingness to care for and protect those who are injured (physically or spiritually) are representative not just of a goose, but also of a servant of God. I surely wish to be a servant of my God; so, Yes Jesus, I will be a goose if that is your will for me!
“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” (1 Cor 9:19) To the ducks I will become like a duck, to the moose like a moose, to a lion like a lion and to a goose like a goose. “I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings”(1 Cor 9:23) with you my friends. May the dynasty continue until the end of ages and may we each be willing to submit to His choice of our role within the dynasty. Happy New Year my friends! “May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you now and forever”. (Numbers 6: 24-26) Amen