Last week I had the good fortune of spending a few days in San Diego, California on a business trip and found myself with a half day off to myself. What do you do with a half day off in San Diego? Why, of course, you go to the world famous San Diego zoo, so that is what I did.
Throughout the day, I travel by foot, by the Skyfari gondola buckets, and by a double decker bus to take in as much of the 4,000 animals and 650 species as I could. What a glorious place to roam and discover the wonders of God's creation! I marveled at the Malayan tigers, the albino koala bear, the wide variety of scary snakes, and of course the panda bear, who posed for me as I took his picture (see below).
But of all the species I encountered that day, most impressive was one imported from Russia, a precious six year old Homo Sapien who just plopped herself down in my lap after I got situated on the top of the double decker bus. Without any inhibitions, she asked, "What's your name?" "Scott" I responded. "What's yours?" "My name is Masha, and that is my big sister Dasha and that's my mom, Olga," as she pointed with pride to the rest of her family. And from that point forward, for the next five hours, I accompanied that family and carried that darling little girl from one exhibit to the next.
I come to find out that Olga is the United States national champion ballroom dancer, and the family is passing through on the way to Los Angeles for Dasha to participate in a ballroom dancing competition herself. They hold dual citizenship between the U.S. and Russia and now live in Seattle.
It was the most delightful afternoon imaginable. I gained a renewed appreciation for that beautiful potpourri of God's creation known as the animal kingdom, especially the human kind!
And God said "Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness...so God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he create them."
-Genesis 1: 24-26
Prayer for Today
O God, we thank you for the wonders of your creation, for animals and for people. We thank you especially for those life experiences where we encounter others who bring sparkle to our life. Amen.