“Faith, Family, Ducks!”
Perhaps, you are one of the 6.5 million viewers who watch Duck Dynasty on A&E each week. The reality show features the family owners of a multi-million dollar company, Duck Commander, which produces duck calls and deer-hunting merchandise. The brainchild of Phil Robertson, Duck Commander emerged only after Phil began his walk with the Lord. The starting quarterback for Louisiana Tech in the ’60s, Phil was considered to be “one of the best quarterback prospects” by Alabama legendary coach, Bear Bryant. However, Phil passed on the NFL to pursue his duck hunting passion. “What gave me more of an adrenaline rush was big bunches of mallard ducks raining down through the trees,” Robertson said. “It just did it for me and that is pretty much why the ducks took precedence over football. It’s just that simple.” During the last game of Robertson’s junior season, he passed the quarterback torch to Terry Bradshaw.
“I’m going for the ducks,” Robertson said. “You can go for the bucks.”
Phil followed his passion for the outdoors over a career that most would have given anything to obtain. Phil refused to listen to the world’s rejection of his heart’s decision; he stayed true to his inner convictions. Before long, Phil’s passion led to his purpose…..
Friend, what is it that gives you an “adrenaline rush?” What is your passion? What is that one activity that you do when time ceases to exist, the hours pass like minutes, quicker than a blink of an eye?
More importantly, when was the last time you pursued that passion?
If you are having difficulty remembering, then the obvious explains your heart’s longing for more, something more, yet you just can’t figure out what it is. It is in pursuing our God-inspired passions that we experience what I call Holy Moments, those times when we feel the closest to our Creator. Through our passions, we become ignited for our higher call. We stumble upon our purposes when our passions are connected to our displeasures.
Angry that he couldn’t buy a duck call that actually worked for him, Phil made one from the cedar trees surrounding his dilapidated work shed. He found a solution to his problem, and it was a success. After years of perseverance and faithful stewardship, Phil launched his duck call business that provided only “$8,000” in sales the first year. Most would have given up at this point, but Phil believed that God had a bigger plan, and he was right. Phil “delighted himself in the Lord, and the Lord gave him the desires of his heart.” –Psalm 37:4
Fast forward decades later, Phil is still camouflaged for the ducks, but this time, he’s taking viewers with him. Reaching television fans from all backgrounds and ages, he agreed to the Hollywood-produced show, Duck Dynasty, with a dream bigger than his duck calls in mind… to win souls for Christ! Growing beards and wearing camo allow the highly educated father/sons team to reach not only their customers, but also fan groups who haven’t heard the Good News. They passionately camouflage themselves to reach their higher goal.
Camouflage, the act of blending in with one’s environment, finds its roots in the Bible. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9:20-22, “And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law, that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” In other words, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” —St. Ambrose
From scripture, we can see that Paul’s motive for sincere camouflage was to lead others to Christ. His goal was to never compromise his Biblical standards; however, he was determined to reach the lost exactly where they were – lost. He did not preach down to the them, nor did he place himself on a pedestal as if he, alone, had all the answers. He simply shared God’s truth in love, accepting the differences of those around him as they accepted him.
What is your passion that is leading to your purpose?
Sometimes the easiest way to identify your passion is to determine your displeasures. In other words, What Angers You? Do you find yourself thinking… I wish someone would do something about that. As much as you try to stuff your aggravation, you can’t seem to find peace with the situation.
Could that someone be you?
Friend, choosing to live before you die is choosing to pursue your God-inspired passions. Your passion is the window to your purpose. We can’t even imagine all that the Lord will do through our lives once we choose to live passionately!
Faith, Family, Ducks is Phil’s mantra for living, his 3 passions in life. How about you… what would you write as your mantra for living?
Blessings! — Michelle
(Lifeway and The 700 Club also have additional videos. The following is Phil’s son, Willie Robertson.)