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Monday, August 15, 2011

Inspired by... ducks and eagles



I just love this picture I found on line a while ago:


The sentiment expressed fits Aslan a.k.a Baby Kitty to a "T".  I have witnessed him face-off with the Does (and a 6pt buck) that frequent our backyard looking for water.

He thinks he's a lion.

I'm not like my Baby Kitty. I don't look in the mirror and see greatness, or success and achievement beyond myself. (In fact, I try to avoid looking in the mirror completely, but, that's another matter.)

At my church, I serve on staff in a lay-leader position of Family & Fellowship Servant Team Leader. Servant Leader may seem like an oxymoron to you, but that is what Jesus was and so the model fits nicely here.

Those of us on staff are reading and discussing John Maxwell's book, Leadership Gold.  This has been an uncomfortable study for me.

I don't see myself as a leader.

So what am I doing as a Servant Team Leader, you might ask. Well, honestly, that was a God thing. You know, those moments when God moves, you obey. When you come to yourself, the details are a bit sketchy and you're in a bit of a fog, but then, well, there you are and there is no turning back.

Again, it's funny how God works. Not.

I had just had the courage (the week before) to share with the group how this study is so glaringly confirming to me that I am so NOT a leader, when we come to the chapter:

Don't Send Your Ducks to Eagle School

(insert nervous laughter here)

As you can imagine, I wasn't eagerly reading ahead and had no idea this was the subject of the next chapter!

Mr. Maxwell is not comparing ducks to eagles, as in one is better than the other. His point is "Leadership is all about placing people in the right place so they can be successful."  It's a great chapter.

Unless your a duck sitting at the table with a bunch of eagles.

So, we finish discussing the chapter and my Pastor (bless him) says (something like):

"You're here because I see you as Eagles. Some of you may not see yourselves that way. Some of you may see yourselves as Ducks.

"The question is: what are you going to do about it. Decide a duck is a duck and you're going to remain a duck?

"Or see yourself as I see you and rise to the challenge?"

God will sometimes speak so clearly to you through another person.

(Usually, you'll know when it's happening because you will suddenly feel extremely uncomfortable!)

Pastor did not look at me once when he spoke thus. (I know, because my eyes were riveted to his the entire time.) And if you understand anything at all about me from what I've just shared, you'll realize I am not one to rise to a challenge, simply because a challenge is given.

However, I deeply respect this man and do not want to disappoint him. And, as a leader himself, it is his job to "always challenge people to move out of their comfort zone, but never out of their strength zone."

As a result, I have been pondering and praying about what he said. You know what I realized?

In every job I've ever had, I applied for a "duck" position (behind the scenes, servant, service type positions) and within 2 months (sometimes less) of being hired I was promoted to an (unsought) "eagle" position.

Every time.

Clearly, others see something in me that I do.not.see.in.myself.

And that's okay.
Perhaps that's how God keeps me humble. (and, oh, how I need to be humble(d)!)

Whatever the reason, here is what I believe to be true (for me):

How I see myself doesn't matter nearly as much as how God sees me.


His message, this time, is pretty clear.


He wants me to soar.


What about you?

Does how you see yourself line up with how others see you?

How God sees you?

Are you thriving?





PS Don't think there isn't a bit of "wobble in my wing", but where God calls, He equips. When I am weak, He is strong. I'm nothing without Him and can do nothing without Him. (just so we're clear on that)


Galatians 2:20

Note: ironically the font used above is called Socially Awkward (ha-ha!). Kim Klassen's canvas magic texture gives the sky a lovely denim feel – love it!


Sharing inspiration here:


  1. Great thoughts! Yes, God equips and how He sees us and who He created us to be is more important than anyone else's opinion! So comforting!

  2. Wow! What a great post! I definitely needed to read this. Rising to the challenge, indeed!


If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June