14) The Last Bit: Lessons from The Chinese Character for Disciple

This past weekend, while visiting with a Chinese first-language speaker, I learned something metaphorical. The Chinese character for the word, “Disciple,” is a compound symbol. Contained in the symbol are two people who are walking together toward the figure of Christ. There’s something telling about that idea. Sharing with someone else in a disciple-making relationship often seems somewhat intimidating. After all, few of us feel we have “arrived.” But the beauty of this character is that the two people in the symbol are walking *together*. We all represent “works in process.” Sometimes, maybe we’ll be one step ahead of our buddy in one area, but more than likely, he or she will be one step ahead of us in some other way – sometime.

 

Curtis Sergeant has made famous the similar metaphor of a single file line of ducklings, following a mother duck. Each duck in the column is indeed a step ahead of the duck following, but each duck is also simultaneously following another. We’re leaders — and followers — all at the same time, trying to keep our file in line. The mother duck knows the way, just like Christ knows where to take us. All the rest of us are, well, followers, together, jointly watching the swishing little tail ahead of us, trying to waddle along through life and avoid getting lost. And guess what — sometimes we’re watching a duck immediately ahead of us who is not all that different from our own situation. We’re in this together.

 

You can see Curtis tell the story here:

 

moredisciples.com/2016/02/disciple-making-is-like-a-family-of-ducks/

 

We’ll probably all be a lot better off once we realize a) We haven’t all arrived. We’re in this together. We’re a bunch of ducks. b) The trick is to find somebody that we can help… even if we’re just one step ahead… AND to find somebody who can help US too, even if he or she is only one step ahead too. That’s the magic of ducks and disciples.

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