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On my desk at home sits a wooden duck. This duck is all the same color and lacks fine details. It is not made of priceless materials and I do not even know who made it or when. However, this duck is something special to me. You see, it sits on my desk because it used to sit on the desk of my father-in-law. This man taught me so much about life, faith, and family in the few short years I knew him. There is an old joke that asks if one knows the difference between an in-law and an outlaw and the punch line is “outlaws are wanted”. While this is a funny joke it is by no means true for me, my father-in-law was a great man.

All four gospels tell of Jesus calling his first disciples. We read that 4 of them were fishermen who had just finished their nightly shift out on the water. We watch as Jesus approaches them and tells them to put down their nets and follow Him. I can only imagine what the scene was like, but I bet these men were not dressed up. I can theorize that they probably smelled like sea and fish. They most likely had rough chapped hands from working in the water and pulling ropes and nets all night long. These men were also most likely not celebrities or important leaders of the day. In fact, these men were very ordinary.

As we all know, one of these men was Simon Peter. Peter would become one of Jesus’ closest followers and a part of his inner circle. He would live a life of ups and downs when it comes to faith, and would eventually write part of our New Testament. Jesus even changed his name from a very common one of the day, Simon, to an almost unheard-of one Peter. Jesus tells this man that He will build His church upon this lowly fisherman. To this day every Bible-believing congregation has roots in Simon Peter.

I can’t help but notice how Jesus chose such an ordinary man to do such great things. He could have chosen anyone he wanted to, and he certainly would have known who the “power players” of his day were. Yet he chose Peter.

When I look at that simple monochromatic duck sitting on my desk I am reminded of my father-in-law. His legacy and example come flooding back and serve as a constant reminder of how I want to live my life. When others look at this duck they most likely don’t see anything special, but I do. Jesus looks at each and every one of us and sees just how special we are. Regardless of our outward appearance, accomplishments (or lack there of), or abilities Jesus sees something special. We may fail along the way but if we are faithful God wants to do amazing things through us.

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