That Duck Won't Quack

Title: That Duck Won't Quack
Category: Devotions
Subject: Influence
That Duck Won't Quack!
Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor
First Baptist Church
Cherryville, North Carolina

As this school year begins, my twin daughters are entering their freshmen year in high school. They were both excited and a little nervous about going to a new school and being the "Low Man" on the pole. I remember my freshmen year in high school like it was yesterday. I made a commitment to myself not to get into trouble and make a good impression on my teachers and classmates. However, I found myself in serious trouble the first day of school. It all started after school when I completed my first football practice. I was walking with a friend who was also a freshman who told me he had tossed a paper mache duck out of a window at school earlier that morning and since I had my duffle bag, I should pick it up and take it home. I figured since I hadn't tossed it out the window, I wasn't actually stealing it. As a matter of fact, I was doing the duck a favor by taking it home instead of leaving it outdoors.

I picked up the duck and carried it home, excited by my new memento from my first day of school. This high school stuff wasn't as tough as I thought! The next morning as I was listening to announcements in my homeroom, an urgent plea came over the intercom, "Whoever stole the 'Freshman Duck' please return it to the school office." A fact that had escaped my attention was that at my high school the freshmen were called "ducks." When you walked down the hallways the upperclassman would "quack" at you and call you names. I'm not sure, but that was probably some type of hazing that was outlawed after I was an upperclassman. The duck that I had taken home was an historic award that was given to the most popular freshman boy and girl at the first pep rally. I realized that I was not the "most popular" freshman but the "most wanted" freshman.

Folks, I didn't know what to do. I was too scared to turn myself in, but I didn't know how to return the "duck" without indicting myself. Every morning for the first week the same announcement was made over the intercom. Eventually I came up with a plan to return the duck and avoid being suspended my first week in school. I have not cared for ducks since my freshman year in high school.

I don't know why it is when you are not thinking about getting into trouble, that you get into trouble! All I had to do is listen to the wrong people, be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and whamoo, I was "Public Enemy Number One." I learned that I would eventually become like the type of people I associated with on a regular basis. I also learned that possession of something that is not yours makes you an accessory after the fact; so don't pick up something that is not yours, ever! As they say, "That dog will not hunt," or "That duck will not quack!"

As a parent of teenagers, I am watchful concerning the people my children choose as friends. It is my responsibility to stay involved in their lives and guide them through these very difficult years. Ephesians 6:4 says, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord." Growing up is not an easy task, but godly parents can make a positive difference. I guess it doesn't hurt to look back on our teenage years and realize that we made a few mistakes between youth and adulthood. So, be understanding when your child tells you he has some bad news to deliver. If they are walking and talking, the news can't be all that bad! Remember, don't give in to sin. Think about it!