True Confessions Of A First Time Dad: Golden Retriever Flight School

There is a small retention pond in our subdivision that is a wonderful little nook complete with a fountain, fish, odd smelling water with odder looking foam, and beer cans floating in it from the underage knuckle heads in the neighborhood.

Even though it seems like a mess we still like to go and stand above the water looking down to watch the fish swim and also the ducks.

It’s those flying friends that caught our attention this last time.  We noticed the momma duck in the water looking up at her brood of maturing ducklings pacing the retaining wall above the water.  They waddled back and forth as nervous as a freshman boy asking a senior girl to the prom.  There was something they wanted to do but we didn’t’ know what.

Just then the momma duck took off from the water and flew right by her adolescent crew landing with the precision of a F16 on an aircraft carrier.  She gave a quick look to her “class” to make sure everyone was paying attention and then waddled to the edge and pushed off the side into perfect flight only to land gracefully on the water below.  She dunked her head under the water quickly and flung her feathers dramatically upon surfacing with the panache of an Olympic swimmer taking their swim cap off.

We looked up to the ducklings that had a look of amazement, but yet resolve that said “I can do that!”  We thought for sure that these Titans of Fowl would quickly jump off and join their hero in the water.  However, for the next 10 – 15 minutes we watched them continue their anxiety dance on the wall only getting one webbed toe even near the edge.

With a 90 degree sun beating down on my fair skinned family I realized it was time to go before we all spontaneously combusted.  We packed up and started on our walk home, but as we got the corner we looked one more time to see if they had made any progress.  Unfortunately they were still gripped with fear all looking down to momma duck.

As I started to sink into a mini depression thinking I may have missed a real life National Geographic moment something dawned on me.  I realized I had something that may help these junior aviators accelerate their learning curve.


Our wonderful, 100 pound, drooling at the chance, frustrated by a house full of babies and Barbies Golden retriever.

I looked down at him and he looked up at me with eyes that said “put me in coach I’m ready.”  The next thing I know I see a streak of gold fur and slobber sprinting toward this group of delectable ducklings.

Pachino got within 5 feet before every duck butt and beak on that wall went diving into the water with the grace of Humpty Dumpty.  We all ran over to see how everyone was and thankfully all ducks were accounted for and swimming around with a confidence that said, “I meant to do that.

Aniston LOVED it, Cherie laughed, Easton tooted, and I thought it was flat out awesome.

Let’s face it sometimes we all have things that we hem and haw at.  Things that we say we want to do but never do.  Things we’ve been standing on the ledge to start but never jump into.

Our spiritual lives are not immune to this paralysis.

I know that God feels like the momma duck in the pond just waiting for you and I to take the first step knowing we will be just fine when we do.  Whether it’s accepting Christ, getting baptized, joining a small group, or even sharing your faith with someone God so desperately wants you to step off the ledge and fly.

But no one can do it for you.

God is not going to be send a Golden Retriever to scare us into a relationship with him we have to do it on our own.  Our friends can encourage us, our pastor can shepherd us, and God can provide opportunities but we have to jump.

I’m just telling you to get off your duck butt, dive in, and enjoy the ride.

Believe me God will be down at the bottom to teach you how to swim and Pachino will look down on you with a grin. 🙂

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