Thursday, July 11, 2013

Getting our ducks in a row

If I were in charge of presenting awards for the best commercials on TV, my choice for first place would go to the group of La Quinta Hotel commercials I have seen lately.  The commercials all carry the same basic theme.  A traveling salesman spends the night at La Quinta and because of the good night's sleep and the welcoming atmosphere of the hotel, the salesman is able to beat his competition, accomplish positive results, and show substantial increase to his income.

That description doesn't sound like a good commercial but when you figure in the methods they use to reach their success, the commercials take on greater meanings.  One in particular shows the salesman pitching his product to a client, and there are four ducks running around on the client's desk. The salesman blows a duck call, and all the ducks line up in a straight line. Hence, he is a successful salesman because he "has his ducks in a row."

There is another commercial, again with the same theme, but this time the salesman comes running into a corporate board room carrying several stop signs which he had gathered along the streets.  This one is successful because he "pulls out all the stops."

My favorite in the series of commercials is the one where the salesman comes home and a meat truck is backing up to his house.  His family is waiting on the porch as he slaps the side of the truck and the back doors open, releasing hundreds of one pound packages of bacon.  He is known for his success in "bringing home the bacon. "

Switching gears, I am recovering from hip replacement surgery and have had to learn to walk with the aid of a walker. I am in a crowd of others with similar surgeries, hips and knees, or ankle surgeries, even some who have suffered strokes or have been injured in accidents. When a rehab patient masters walking correctly with a walker, a green ribbon is tied to the front.  The reason for this is to benefit of the rehab staff, so they can know who has permission to be up and walking around in their walker. Those without the ribbon must have a physical therapist walking with them and holding them upright.  It's quite an accomplishment to receive your green ribbon.  That much success means a patient is on the way to recovery.  It is quite ceremonial and sometimes emotional to be awarded a green ribbon. 

All of this makes me think of a couple of Bible verses where Paul is writing from his prison cell to a group of Christians in Philippi. He tells the people their success in following Jesus and spending eternity with him is not on the basis of their own strength or prestige, but because of their faith in Jesus.  Paul is saying he hasn't achieved it all in this life, but he presses forward for the prize.  Read these verses closely and see if you have your ducks in a row, or possibly have been successful in receiving your green ribbon.  Join me in pressing on. 

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.   Philippians 3:13-14


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