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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Your Duck is Dead

By Larry Pasley

     A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. 
     After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, "I'm sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away."
     The distressed woman wailed, "Are you sure?" "Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead," replied the vet..
"How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."
     The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.
     The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.
     The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."
     The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman. The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried, "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!"
     The vet shrugged, "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $150."
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     A $20 bill turned into $150. She should have left well enough alone. Have you ever felt like you should have left well enough alone?
     The writer of Ecclesiastes tells of a situation similar to this:
"Also do not take to heart everything people say, Lest you hear your servant cursing you. 22  For many times, also, your own heart has known That even you have cursed others. " (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22)
Why does he make this strange statement? Why would you not want to know if you servant has cursed you. He indicates the answer in verse 22, “Even you have cursed others.”
     It reminds us of what Jesus said about seeing the fault of others and not your own. Luke 6:41-42  And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42  Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye.
     There is another reason we might not need to know that someone has cursed us. We may act rashly and do something we regret later. The one cursing us might have done so and regretted it later just as you might have done in the past. It would have been best to leave well enough alone.
     May we be careful about thinking we need to do something when it is better left alone.
- Larry Pasley serves as a minister with the Jackson Street Church of Christ in Alexandria, LA. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www.JacksonStAlex.com 

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