Stop to smell the roses

Published 10:21 am Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

I was “picking up” after my grandsons in our den and noticed the September 2020 issue of the “Kids National Geographic.” The cover story was “Super Smart,” about “clever foxes, brilliant birds, and other animal geniuses.” So I quit “picking up” and began to read.

Vladimir Dionets was watching crocodiles in India when he noticed them picking up sticks. They’d swim under floating sticks and find a place to simply lay in the water and balance the sticks on their snouts. At first, he thought it was for camouflage, but later, at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, he saw American alligators doing the same thing.

Then he noticed some egrets nearby, building their nests, and he remembered seeing egrets near the crocodiles in India. It turns out, the crocodiles and alligators use the sticks as bait. The egrets come over to pick up a stick for the nests and, well, you know the rest of the story.

(I kept reading and found a page of words from Australia; but the letters were mixed up. If you rearrange the letters in “orngaako” and “oaakl”, you’ll discover two Australian mammals.)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1, 14)

For some time now, I’ve been intrigued by the word “wonder.” The dictionary says it’s “something strange and surprising; a cause of surprise, astonishment, or admiration.”  The night sky… the north Georgia mountains… the seashore… the Grand Canyon… a kangaroo… a koala… and an alligator who “fishes” for egrets using sticks.

We live in a world filled with the signs and wonders of a God who created the heavens and the earth in Genesis 1:1. In six days God created light, water, earth, sky, an infinite variety of vegetation, animals on the land and on the sea, and finally he created men and women. Then he created a seventh day for rest; I believe he created the seventh day so we’d stop what we were doing and simply enjoy the signs and wonders.

When my oldest grandson was first beginning to walk, we’d take “discovery walks.” He would see things I would never have seen because I walk faster and am generally unwilling to slow down and see the little things he saw. He would stop every few steps to discover some little thing I’d never have  noticed or stopped to see. He gave me a new perspective on the world around us… maybe you’ll remember that the next time you walk? Slow down and look for the signs and wonders of a God who created us and everything around us!