A couple of days ago in church, the poor little ugly duckling came up as an example of the need for transformation. I didn’t say it at the time (it doesn’t go down well when you interrupt to disagree with the person at the front! ? ) but the idea I couldn’t let go of was that actually that “ugly duckling” wasn’t a duckling at all, he was a baby swan. They were judging him all wrong.
I understand that it’s meant as a story of personal transformation, to remind us that it doesn’t matter what our beginnings were like because we too can be transformed into the mighty swan etcetera etcetera but, personally, I think we might be missing the point.
About five days out of seven I take the dogs for a walk around a big pond near our house. (As an aside, yes I did just have a conversation with my fella about ‘pond’ versus ‘lake’. I always call it a lake but I’m told that my dear friends in North America would snigger to hear this expanse of water that I can walk the perimeter of in about fifteen minutes described as a lake.)
This pond is home to loads of ducks and geese and yes, swans too, and last week I noticed mama and papa swan have had two babies. Have you taken a look at a cygnet recently? They’re not ugly at all, these little grey fluff balls are really cute! They’re just not ducks.
If we judge a fish on its ability to fly or a tree on its ability to lay eggs, both will always come up short. Same with our dear little cygnets. They’re delightful and lovely and really very cute in their own right, and it wasn’t until the ‘ugly duckling’ stepped into his true identity that he really shone.
Same with you and me. The sooner we stop trying to measure up against a yard stick meant for someone else, the happier and more content life will be. You are wonderful and delightful, God’s work of art and master piece, and he doesn’t need a do over.
And so today, consider this a reminder if you need one. Take a deep breath, pull your shoulders back and step into this brand new day as you: wonderful, delightful you.
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