One of the things we’ve been spending a lot of time talking about these past few days is the paradox of all we are going through. On the first day, our instructor held up two rubber ducks. “What are these?” he asked. “Two ducks.” “Yes, two ducks. Another way to say ‘two ducks’ would be ‘a pair of ducks’.” A Pair-A-Ducks. Get it? Paradox!
He went on to ask us what we noticed about the two. One was in pristine condition, clean and pretty. He called that one “Yay Duck”. The other was all marked up, dirty and icky. That one was “Yuck Duck”. He told us that because these ducks were a pair, they go together. You couldn’t separate the pair because they live with each other.
As all of us here at MTI can attest, our lives right now are like the pair of ducks. The Yay Duck is excited that I am going to the Dominican Republic. The Yuck Duck is sad that I have to leave my home. The Yay Duck thinks it’s really awesome that I’ll get to meet new people and share Jesus. The Yuck Duck feels lonely because I am leaving all my friends.
While I am in transition, sometimes I’ll have more Yay Duck times, and sometimes there will be a whole lot of Yuck Duck. But, because they are a pair, there will always be some of each. Part of being able to process all the changes going on is to recognize the reality of the pair of ducks (paradox).
It’s important for me to come to terms with this. Ignoring either duck can cause problems because it means not living in the fullness of what is happening. Pretending there’s only a Yay Duck doesn’t stop the Yuck Duck from being there. And, if I ignore him long enough, he just might start quacking madly, demanding attention, and drowning out the Yay Duck for a time. If I only focus on the Yuck Duck side of things, I may blind myself to the beauty and joy of the Yay Duck.
In each of our lives, we have this pair. For me right now they may seem much more real and extreme, but they are always present, aren’t they? Your child has graduated from high school. Yay Duck, that is a great accomplishment. Yuck Duck, it means he will soon be leaving the nest. You’ve been invited to start a new Bible study. Yay Duck, you’ll get to help others learn more about Jesus. Yuck Duck, you will have to give up something you enjoy in order to have time to prepare your lessons.
Yay Duck… Yuck Duck. I’m sure you can think of your own (way better!) examples of this pair at work in your lives!
It’s simple and elementary (MTI also uses this to help the kids understand the concept of paradox). But, it’s also a great way to express what’s going on in my heart. In fact, I plan to buy a couple of rubber ducks when I get home and make one icky, and keep the other pretty. I have a feeling that visible reminder is going to come in handy!
In the meantime, I will continue to pray that Jesus, who experienced plenty of Yay Duck and Yuck Duck moments as He lived and died and rose again, will help me to process the paradox in which I am living.