tell my kids, but I don’t take them to the zoo and the aquarium just because
they like it. I like it too. Actually, I
love it. Truth be told, I could spend
hours gazing at the amazing creatures that God has created, watching their habits,
their relationships, their coloring. There’s
the surprisingly peaceful elegance of a school of jellyfish, the imposing
presence of a hammerhead shark, and the adorable nature of a loggerhead turtle.
There are lackadaisical camels asleep in the mud, ornery goats who my daughter insists
are puppies, and an unending variety of fish and turtles and frogs and bugs and
bison and ostriches and kangaroos that never cease to capture my attention and
amazement. I love the coolness of the aquarium, where the illumination of the
fish highlights their every move. How
many ways can a fish swim? Some dart,
some ooze, some seem to hang there in the eerie light, unblinking,
waiting. Waiting for what, I
wonder? Their next meal, perhaps? I love
the fresh air of the zoo, where the animals almost seem to pose so I can snap a
pic of the fuzzy headed ostrich or quickly catch the shy smile of a lumbering
course, with small children in tow, there is rarely time enough for anything but a quick glimpse of the exhibit and a flash of the camera on the fly. But I can’t complain in the slightest,
because I know we’ll be back in a day or two, or maybe a week at best. And I
wonder as I wander through the myriad of plants and animals about all of the
studying, collecting, feeding, and animal husbandry that goes into creating
these beautiful exhibits. Men and women
have spent years of their lives studying and working so that the rest of us can
learn about and enjoy these intricate creatures. I am amazed at the painstaking care that goes
into each exhibit: recreating habitat, ecosystems, symbiotic relationships
between particular plants and animals, water type, temperature, lighting, space….
Who can understand the complexities that go into re-creating such beautiful places
to see these creatures?
our last trip to the aquarium, feeling simultaneously tired and satisfied and
refueled by my adoration of all these things, I shambled across the cul-de-sac
to get the mail. I was contemplating the
mysteries of the animal kingdom, and how each fish and animal were placed so
perfectly in their particular habitat by dedicated scientists and zoo keepers.
I gazed mindlessly across the field, and there, just a few feet away, was a
beautiful blue heron. It carefully picked and stepped its way through the mud,
giving me sideways glances now and then as it went about its business.
I took a breath
because as amazing as a zoo or
an aquarium might be, they all pale in comparison to what God made. He didn’t just study and recreate habitats to
show off his favorite plants and animals. He created each and every plant, bug,
and animal, and he also made a place for them to live. He made their habits,
their personalities, their relationships, their habitats. He placed each and
every one exactly where it needed to be.
As I look across the field, and watch that graceful heron
pick and choose its way around the mud, I am amazed. It gives up its mission, and gives me once
backwards glance, spreads its enormous wings, and soars away into the tree line. And
there I stand, in awe of this earth and all of the creatures in it. Some just a few feet from my own
God was right, you know.
He created the earth and He filled it with animals and plants and water
and earth and bugs and people. And then
He declared it good.
“God saw all that he had
made, and it was very good.”
Genesis 1:31, NIV.
As I'm writing papers or articles or devotional ideas, I'm always searching for the right quote to make my point. Here are a few of my favorites: Preach the Gospel always. Use words if necessary. -attributed to St. Francis of Assisi Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength. - Corrie Ten Boom Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you. -Dr. Suess Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring. -Marilyn Monroe What Shall We Wear to Worship? Beauty Guru: How I Save Money on Makeup