Let me share a story I read some time ago…
A flock of wild ducks were flying in formation, heading south for the winter. They formed a beautiful V in the sky, and were admired by everyone who saw them from below.
One day, Wally, one of the wild ducks in the formation, spotted something on the ground that caught his eye. It was a barnyard with a flock of tame ducks who lived on the farm. They were waddling around on the ground, quacking merrily and eating corn that was thrown on the ground for them every day. Wally liked what he saw. “It sure would be nice to have some of that corn,” he thought to himself. “And all this flying is very tiring. I’d like to just waddle around for a while.”
So after thinking it over a while, Wally left the formation of wild ducks, made a sharp dive to the left, and headed for the barnyard. He landed among the tame ducks, and began to waddle around and quack merrily. He also started eating corn. The formation of wild ducks continued their journey south, but Wally didn’t care. “I’ll rejoin them when they come back north in a few months,” he said to himself.
Several months went by and sure enough, Wally looked up and spotted the flock of wild ducks in formation, heading north. They looked beautiful up there. And Wally was tired of the barnyard. It was muddy and everywhere he waddled, nothing but duck doo. “It’s time to leave,” said Wally.
So Wally flapped his wings furiously and tried to get airborne. But he had gained some weight from all his corn-eating, and he hadn’t exercised his wings much either. He finally got off the ground, but he was flying too low and slammed into the side of the barn. He fell to the ground with a thud and said to himself, “Oh, well, I’ll just wait until they fly south in a few months. Then I’ll rejoin them and become a wild duck again.”
But when the flock flew overhead once more, Wally again tried to lift himself out of the barnyard. He simply didn’t have the strength. Every winter and every spring, he saw his wild duck friends flying overhead, and they would call out to him. But his attempts to leave were all in vain.
Eventually Wally no longer paid any attention to the wild ducks flying overhead. He hardly even noticed them. He had, after all, become a barnyard duck.
Sometimes we get tired of being wild ducks. Vision and purpose get’s lost in the quacks of life. It’s not always easy to discipline ourselves to hang in there for the long journey in life. And when we are feeling that way, that’s when Satan tempts us to “fall out of formation” and to join the barnyard ducks…the world and it’s systems.
But look what happened to Wally! He thought he would just “check it out” for a while and then leave when he wanted to. But he couldn’t do it.
You know religion is like that. It is a trap, and it has a way of changing us into people we don’t even want to become. Eventually we lose touch with who we really are – the sons and daughters of the Most High God. We just become barnyard ducks.
In the past months many people have come across my path.
We have been at dinner with the sheriff of Mumbai, and then sat chatting with key industrialists. My wife and I have prayed and encouraged a few ‘page three’ personalities and their children. Just the other day I spent time with a roadside mechanic and both of us sat on wooden boxes by the side of the road sipping hot chai from a dirty tiny tumbler!
Whether seated in a high-rise apartment in Worli, an upmarket place in Mumbai…or just on the city’s dusty roadside. I have noticed some things very keenly.
People are unfulfilled with religion! Religion bears no good fruit, and cast seeds of division, doubt, and racism. Religion is man made and strives to magnify the flesh and all its fruit. Religion is futile, fatalistic and frightful to meddle with. Religion has no qualms about judging people by varying standards and gross injustice. Religion opposes the true God. It is an entrapment to imprison people who enter its portals to “check it out”!
But, here is something else I have taken note of…more and more people, and some for the very first time in their lives, are now discovering the difference between religion and relationship.
God has designed us to have a love relationship with Him! Religion is like feeding on ‘corn’, it cannot give you the strength to fly into new dimensions.
I love the dimensions of God…I live there!