Do you remember the story of the ugly duckling? He didn't walk like a duck, he didn't quack like a duck, and he didn't look like a duck, but he lived among the ducks in the barnyard. Then one fine day, he heard a call from above. He had never heard it before, but in him was an instinct that answered that call. In the sky he saw a speck. The speck became a long trail. The call became louder and more insistent. The ugly duckling began to flap his wings. He found that he could fly. Up above the barnyard, higher and higher he flew, to answer that call and to join that company. He disappeared from the barnyard. The ducks never saw him again. They said that he died, but we know better. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles."

J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.