Monday, November 16, 2009

Could You Be An Ugly Duckling?

This entry is inspired from a sermon preached by Minister Kimberly Nelson. In the sermon she related the story of the ugly duckling. I did not know that the ugly duckling went through so much before becoming a swan. (If you would like to read an account of this story, click here.)

First of all, the ugly duckling was picked on by its family members and those that should have been protecdting it. The taunts, jeers, and rejection was so bad until the duckling ran way. There were moments in which the duckling's life was in peril. Let's not forget the time the old woman's hen told the duckling it was crazy for wanting to swim in the water. What a preposterous idea!

Finally, after harsh winters and an incredible amount of verbal or physical abuse from others, the ugly duckling encountered three swans. The following is what happened during that encounter:

“I will fly to those royal birds,” he exclaimed, “and they will kill me, because I am so ugly, and dare to approach them; but it does not matter: better be killed by them than pecked by the ducks, beaten by the hens, pushed about by the maiden who feeds the poultry, or starved with hunger in the winter.”

Then he flew to the water, and swam towards the beautiful swans. The moment they espied the stranger, they rushed to meet him with outstretched wings.

“Kill me,” said the poor bird; and he bent his head down to the surface of the water, and awaited death.

But what did he see in the clear stream below? His own image; no longer a dark, gray bird, ugly and disagreeable to look at, but a graceful and beautiful swan. To be born in a duck’s nest, in a farmyard, is of no consequence to a bird, if it is hatched from a swan’s egg. He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him; for the great swans swam round the new-comer, and stroked his neck with their beaks, as a welcome.

Although "The Ugly Duckling" is just a fable, can you relate your life to that of its main character? If so, my question for you becomes,

"Could you be an ugly duckling?"

"My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything." (James 1:2-4 .NET Bible)

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