The Zoo

This week has been insane busy. We were in Gatlinburg last weekend for Winterfest. Our kids had a great time and it was a neat time. It was beautiful as we got two inches of snow on the ground Saturday. The mountains were incredible. Yesterday I spent time in the office, in the jail, in the hospital, and in the church basketball league – now doesn’t that sounds like a day in the pastorate!

I haven’t really had much of a chance to hang out with Clark for the past two weeks (with our minister visits going on right now, our weekends have been totally taken up, so I have been trying to squeeze time in here and there), so this morning and this afternoon I took off and he and I took a trip to the Columbus Zoo. We bought a family pass out there for Mary Beth’s birthday so we get try to make it out there on occasion. It was a bit nippy out, but there was almost no one there, so it made for a good father and son day.

I’ve always loved the zoo and I’ve always loved animals. I think my very first choice of profession as an eight year old was to be a zoologist – that, of course, was before I had a biology class, yuck!

As I’ve gotten older, one thing that the zoo has been for me is almost a spiritual pilgrimage. It’s a time to get away from the ordinary suburban life filled full of cars, shopping malls, and subdivisions, and journey through the animal sampling from around the world. I hate to get all cliche on everyone, but God’s creation is truly magnificent. I mean it’s incredible.

Clark and I spent a good bit of time standing beside some Asian elephants. It was an incredible time and all these thoughts went rushing through my mind. It was a good moment of allowing the small box I often have the world in, to quickly expand. These huge animals roaming the Asian countryside was a pretty amazing thought in my mind. God’s creation is so diverse, so amazing. The details are so painstakingly precise. This was amazingly evident as Clark spent time racing in front of the large oceanic aquarium. Clark in his youthful wonder stared at the many sizes, colors, and shapes of the numerous fish. The complex DNA structure of each one of those fish must be amazing, and yet it was one fish among millions – maybe billions. And, the Columbus Zoo isn’t even that large of a zoo.

The world is so big. It is unfortunate that science and faith have been working in isolation for so long. While faith tends to be the Gap God, I don’t think it has to be. Science does well to answer the what and how questions, but it doesn’t dabble much with the why questions. The what and how of creation are magnificent. We are fortunate to live in a time when I can type this posting and read it from virtually anywhere in the world. Who knows what the future holds. But, as you look around and consider all that is around us, there is that subtle question of why? Why all the diversity in creation? Why all the splendor and beauty? Why the wonderful “circle of life?” God gives meaning and value to all the beauty around us. I am glad to have spent my morning at the zoo being reminded of the wonderful creation God creatively initiated. A trip to the zoo should always accompany a reading of Genesis 1 – 2.

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One thought on “The Zoo

  1. I’ve had some great zoo visits with my kids but that has been so many years ago. One time that was pretty interesting I went by myself. Scheduling problems, not really intentional. But it did mean the only whims I had to follow were my own. At the time they had the Titanic display there. I really liked the big wall of water you mentioned with all the fish, etc. Did I ever mention the Douglas Adams book “Last Chance to See” to you? The author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy out visiting various endangered species with an expert. The public library has it in print and audio tape. I like your idea of the small box expanding. Carry on, dude!

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