On June 18th, I celebrated by 3rd anniversary of starting life in Seattle. While I technically moved to Seattle on June 17th, I started my first post-college job and threw myself into the life of adulthood on the 18th. Hence that’s the official date for me. Anyway… for the past few weeks I’ve been contemplating a key moment I had before I made the trek up I-5 to Seattle to start the current chapter of my life. Now that I’ve hit the three-year mark, it seems fitting to share. I have to admit, however, that I’m still feeling things out even as I write this.
The “moment” occurred when I was sitting in my parents’ new office (you know, my childhood bedroom that slowly started holding more of my parents stuff each time I came home for winter, spring, or summer breaks) frantically writing e-mails to friends of friends trying to find a temporary home for the first 10 weeks of my Seattle residence. Through God’s providence I had a permanent spot north of Green Lake (NOGL) but I couldn’t move in until September 1st when the lease renewed. As such, I was researching all sorts of options… temporary housing, crashing at my parents’ friends house in Auburn, possibly living in a fraternity at UW during the summer (gasp!) when I got an e-mail from A, a future NOGL roomie, who told me that a friend of hers was getting married and needed a sublessor until September 1st. I made a quick phone call and within a two minute conversation, weeks’ worth of fretting was put to rest. I literally remember throwing my feet up on my parents desk, leaning back in the desk chair and thinking “Well, don’t I have all my ducks in row?” It was then that I very clearly remember the Holy Spirit telling me, “You can have the ducks. Let me take care of the peacocks.”
Perhaps the moment is so memorable because I had just bought a shirt with a peacock feather from Sarah Jessica Parker’s line, Bitten, or I was simply shocked at the metaphor but I immediately understood what God was trying to tell me at the time: I had the freedom to choose, organize, and shuffle the “ducks” (the small everyday decisions) but He wanted to handle the “peacocks” (the extraordinary and life-changing moments which would play a critical part in my ministry for serving and glorifying Him). In my naiveté, I thought that there was only one real peacock and that would be my future husband. Now, however, that I’m three years wiser (and more humble, obviously), I’m learning that some birds which look like ducks are actually peacocks.
I wish that I could be more specific and make a Ducks v. Peacock t-table to describe the attributes of things that fall into each category. I can’t though because I’m not quite sure if there are any hard lines that decipher the two. You would think that choosing to eat ice cream with a fork or a spoon would be a duck issue because you would waste a lot of time and tear apart your Benny and Jerry’s carton by digging in with a multiple-pronged instrument. It seems to be a non-issue. However, if you only had one clean fork in your entire house and you saw your roommate was making spaghetti for dinner, opting to go with the fork now becomes a peacock issue where you need to question the real motive of wanting to eat some Half-Baked with a fork. At times, situations can be merely ducks because they’re just parts of life where we’re living on cruise control. However, they can quickly morph into peacocks when they threaten to block us from the opportunities where Jesus is trying to shape us into better servants and disciples.
So… what am I trying to say? Simply put… it seems like there are a lot more peacocks in my life than I thought there were. They’re in my closet, scattered through my checkbook, floating through my Mozilla browsing history, and resting on my tongue. Just thinking about it today as I tried to sum up what I wanted to share made my head spin and my stomach turn. Does Jesus know what He’s gotten himself into? Thankfully, the Bible affirms that He does. Proverbs 3/5-8 provides the following instruction/encouragement:
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
In consideration of this, I’m feeling called to put down my proverbial Macmillan Field Guide to Bird Identification and take off the binoculars. Jesus isn’t intending for me to walk through life hollering “duck… duck… PEACOCK!” Instead, He’s calling me to trust Him with everything… ducks and peacocks alike.