Personally I have never seen a peacock at Garvan Gardens. But since my mother insists it is a true story I believe it. Peacocks certainly have shown up in strange places. I had one in my yard once. Seriously, and peacocks are not indigenous to the rural South.
STRUTTING HIS STUFF
Reportedly the male peacock was strutting his stuff on a dock over shallow water. His train was proudly displayed in all its glory. He did not earn his extravagant plumage. He was born with his iridescent tail feathers. Peacocks instinctively perform elaborate courtship rituals to impress the pea hen. Apparently this particular pea hen was playing hard to get and ignoring his proud self-promotion. The more she ignored him, the harder he tried to get her attention. Hmmm, sounds vaguely familiar. His splendid colors fanned to impress, he proudly strutted harder and harder. He even strutted backwards. Eventually, he strutted right off the end of the dock.
Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall.” KJV
PRIDE GOETH BEFORE A SPLASH TOO
Desperate for attention, he made a fool of himself. And he got wet. Peacocks look pretty but cannot swim, apparently web feet are required for that. Fortunately the water was shallow, so only his pride was injured. He was humiliated and I imagine the pea hen had a good laugh.
James 4:6, “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” NIV
Pride. It gets me every single time. Even the middle letter of the word is I. The very first of the Ten Commandments is to have no other god before Him. I must admit, when I examine my heart I am often my own god. Not a very good one, mind you. In reality, I can do nothing apart from Christ
Proverbs 6:16, “There are seven things that the Lord hates and cannot tolerate: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people, a mind that thinks up wicked plans, feet that hurry off to do evil, a witness who tells one lie after another, and someone who stirs up trouble among friends.” GNT
DUCKS CAN SWIM
Peacocks are spectacular, the epitome and symbol of pride, but they cannot swim. On the other hand, ducks are made for swimming. They have web feet. While they are not particularly attractive, they are born to swim. I wonder if the peacock ever envies the duck’s ability. After all, he just stands around seeking admiration, a miserable plight. Ducks get to swim and dive and fish. God equips all of His children with different gifts. Some are seemingly more desirable on the surface, but all are God-given and intended for strengthening and building up the body of believers.
Know it, use it and don’t be jealous of another’s gift or flaunt your own.
1 Corinthians 12:22, “On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.” NIV
If you are blessed with extravagant plumage, be careful where you step. If you are an ugly duckling, paddle like crazy and be thankful for your web feet.
Would love to hear how you use your gift..