Leap of Faith



“A bunch of baby ducks! Come , look! Hurry!” Hurry up’ I blurted out with excitement. The view out the window was unbelievable. At that very moment the most adorable tiny balls of yellowish-brown fluff were moving across our lawn. Led by a female wood duck, a brood of at least a dozen new wobbly ducklings bounced over our thick grass lawn as they scurried to keep up with their mother.

Danger and Obstacles

All 13 of them were headed toward the busy street just beyond. This aquatic family, no doubt, was in search of a water source—a pond, a lake, or a creek.

However, nothing resembling water was within viewing distance of our yard. Their trek was to be a long hazardous one through a small field, across another busy street, between several homes, and finally behind these houses they would find a small water drainage . So, why were they so far away from a water source?

These innocent hatchlings had already experienced insurmountable obstacles. Somewhere in the couple of acres of pristine forest behind our home, had been their nest. The typical behavior of wood ducks is to search for a large tree cavity, an excavation chiseled out by woodpeckers or resulting from natural decay.

The opening into the hollow needs to be about four inches in diameter. For some additional safety, the distance of the nest opening from the ground is of most vital importance. Being inconspicuous to enemies (such as cats, raccoons, weasels, and other egg eaters) provides a better chance that predators will not disturb the clutch.

Ornithologists have measured wood duck nests to be 30 to 50 feet (10 to 16 meters) high, although nests 20 feet (6 to 7 meters) off the ground are more typical.

Other construction details of this hollow tree nest are also crucial. The inside cavity requirements must be adequate to accommodate an adult wood duck, as well as 12 to 15 eggs, each of which will be nicely insulated with soft down, plucked from the mother’s chest. On the other hand, the hollow must not be too deep. If situated too far down, the hatchlings would be unable to spring upward high enough inside the tree to reach the opening that beckons them to the outside world.

When the hatchlings finally get to perch on the tree opening for their first time, their instinct is to find food and water. But they cannot fly yet and must get to the ground by their own efforts. How do they get down 50 feet? Or even 20 feet?

One would consider this to be a terrifying experience for something so tiny, weighing only a couple of ounces, to look down and perhaps not even see the ground below.


An incredulous event occurs!

These fledglings actually jump!

With their tiny stubby wings spread out, they push out of the opening to tumble to the abyss below . Is it suicide? What is it that compels a new hatchling to jump out of a tall tree nest?

Actually, preparation for these leaps is part of the over-all parenting plan. Scientists record that a couple days before the ducklings crack open their shell, their mother hears their faint tapping and peeping from the inside. She in turn peeps back. She continues communicating with each duckling-to-be with her frequent soft peeping.

Even before the hatchlings obtain a glimpse of their world, they are familiar with their parent’s tone and messages.

Within 24 hours all eggs hatch. With vigilance the wood duck parents study the area for possible attackers. When all appears safe and peaceful, the mother flutters down beneath the tree and begins peeping loudly. From somewhere far below is a familiar call that the ducklings recognize as their mother’s.

With her coaxing peeps, the ducklings scramble to the tree opening; and one after another, they leap down, down to the ground.

Upon bouncing to the ground, they regain composure as their awkward, wobbly feet take them to their mother’s side. The mother’s peeps become louder with more persistence until all have jumped. With alertness for safety and additional louder persuading peeps, she groups her young family—sometimes as many as 24—and together they begin their search for water and nourishment. WHAT A LEAP OF FAITH!

This leap is possible because the hatchlings have listened and heard their mother’s message . Researchers report that when the female duck does not communicate with the ready-to-hatch eggs, the newborns are less responsive to her coaxing. In such cases the just-hatched ducklings either need more time of coaxing to follow directions, or they just do not seem to respond. As a result, they do not jump out to freedom.


This example is so much like us. In Romans 10:17 (NIV) we are told that “faith comes from hearing the message.”

The ducklings that respond with the leap of faith are those that had heard their mother’s message communicated to them. For us, the message heard through the Word of Christ is what helps us establish connection with our Creator and Savior. We need to hear God’s voice in order to maintain faith in Him.

Faith requires some form of action, like that of the ducklings jumping from high in a tree . James reminds us that “faith, if it does not have works [deeds and actions of obedience to back it up], by itself is destitute of power [inoperative, dead]” (James 2:17, Amplified).

In Hebrews 11:6 we are further reminded of the importance of faith in our lives: It says that “without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]” (Amplified).


There are everlasting rewards for those who hear (who listen), and everlasting rewards for those who obey (who take the leap)! Romans 5:1 explains that “having been justified by faith, we have peace with God” What a wonderful reward— peaceful and joyous living!

But that is not all. Not only do we have peace, but ultimately we will “inherit the world ...... through the righteousness of faith” (Rom. 4:13, Amplified).

Unbelievable rewards! All because we choose to take the leap of faith.


                                                             Lorraine Trynchuk Guild is retired

                                                             from community college administration.

                                                             Besides writing, she is involved in literacy

                                                             efforts for both young children and adults.

                                                                        She lives in Moab, Utah . (USA)



Volume 3. No. 7. July 2007. (Pgs. 20-21)

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