Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Trip to the Zoo...

This weekend, we took the kids on a little trip to the Toledo Zoo. Knowing that in just a few short weeks or less, our new baby boy will be arriving on the scene, we thought it best to go now, since we will not be able to after his birth for some time. So, Sunday morning, we packed up some lunch, juice pouches and water in the cooler, and headed to the Zoo. We arrived shortly after noon and ate a quick lunch, and then we started our very hot journey through this very nice zoo.

The kids were enthralled by what they saw. They happily screeched when the saw their favorite animals, like the young elephant my daughter Machaela had been wanting to see all day. The saw the polar bears, which I thought would have been cooling off from the near 90 degree heat in the water, but paced back and forth in an intimidating manner, as if to say, “If you even try to cross that fence, you’re mine!”

Then, as I was headed into work this morning, I was hit upside the head with a thought. Of all God’s creation, animals are the ones that are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Think about that for a minute. Birds were created to fly, not to sit in some cage like the bald eagles on display at the zoo. Elephants were created to live in family groups, and that they do. There is a purpose for that huge trunk, from grabbing hard to reach leaves to sucking up water to drink and cool itself down. Animals do what they were made to do. We can even look beyond the animal world. The sun rises and sets at the appointed times. It has always risen in the east, and set in the west as God made it too. The seasons change when they are supposed to. God’s world functions the way that it’s supposed to.

We people, however, are a different story, aren’t we? Out of all of God’s creation, we are the only ones who don’t do what we were created to do. I know that we have something that the rest of the world doesn’t have, which is a free will, ability to reason. Animals simply exist, being animals. Yet there is something weird about seeing something that was created for a specific purpose not functioning in that purpose. I mentioned the bald eagles on display at the zoo. Such a majestic bird that soars to incredible heights, confined to a display that gives them 20 feet. Those eyes that can spot a field mouse from high altitudes are simply watching the people that stop by to look at them. I think about us people, created to praise and worship God, to honor him with our lives, simply sitting in our own little existence, oblivious to the greater calling and purpose given us as the crown of God’s creation.

God created this world, called it good, and commanded it to be fruitful. And it is. Yet all over the Bible, we are called on to praise and honor God. Here is one such command:

“O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard” Ps. 66:8

In the New Testament, Jesus told us that we are to “love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength” (see Mark 12:33). In fact, by doing what we are commanded, we are actually showing our love for the Lord (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3).

I got to thinking about this as I was reflecting on my weekend this morning. I did stuff that I was supposed to do, like cutting the grass, doing yard work, and taking out the garbage. But I got to thinking about the stuff I didn’t do. Mainly, I didn’t spend the time with God that I needed to. I neglected the time I need to spend one-on-one in God’s presence. I didn’t really read the Bible much. I didn’t take the time to get into prayer. I could have, but I was ashamedly too busy. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to paint a picture of someone slavishly trying to please God through daily religious ritual. But the call to worship and honor God is one in which we will answer to the Lord for. I want to live a life of obedience to him. I want to live a life that is pleasing to him.

Friends, just be encouraged today to get that time in with the Lord. Don’t let life keep you from doing what you were truly made for. God bless!

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