Are Your Ducks in a Row?

I always wondered where the phrase “ducks in a row” came from and didn’t expect this . . .

The most popular theory suggests that “ducks in a row” came from the world of sports, specifically bowling. Early bowling pins were often shorter and thicker than modern pins, which led to the nickname ducks. Before the advent of automatic resetting machines, these “duck pins” would be manually put back into place between bowling rounds. Therefore, having one’s ducks in a row would be a metaphor for having all of the bowling pins organized and properly placed before sending the next ball down the lane. Many bowling alleys still offer “duck pin” lanes with smaller bowling balls and shorter pins. You can learn something new every day!

Regardless of the origin of the phrase, we as believers need to have our priorities in order, but sometimes our priorities are not in order. In fact, life can seem somewhat crazy and priorities often change or get blurred. What are some questions that we as believers can ask ourselves to make sure our priorities are in the right order?

1) Does this glorify God?

Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. We can do a lot of things to glorify God. The reality is a heart issue. This is the question we need to pose before any action, any decision, any movement, as we realize that the reason why we exist is for this very thing: to glorify God!

Paul writes, “From him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever (Romans 11:36 ESV).” This is the sum of it all, God’s glory and our existence.

We can be busy doing a lot of things. Some of them can be good and some of them can just be keeping us busy. We can do a lot of “making it” in this life but Jesus reminds us, “You can gain the whole world yet lose your soul.”

When your heart is aligned to the things of the Lord, all the other priorities will fall into place.

2) Does this bless my family?

When the first question is yes, then we can be confident that the other priorities will fall into place.

I can be doing a lot of good things and I can be busy, but it may not be a blessing to my family. My wife and I need to ask ourselves often, “Are we pushing our family in a constructive, spiritual way in what we choose to do? Or, are we just constantly being busy and not investing in their lives?”

When my desire is to glorify the Lord then I will be able to choose what to say yes to and what to say no to. I am able to lead my family and have our priorities be to glorify God.

3) If the Lord called me home today, would I be confident I am doing what he asked of me?

With all the many things that can grab our attention and focus, there is only one thing that really matters: pleasing the Lord. When we desire to please the Lord, we can be confident that we are doing what He has asked of us.

We should desire to live in such a way that we can be confident in our calling, like Paul who said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7–8 ESV).