Join the Zoo
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10
My water aerobics buddy shared a family tradition with me. She has allowed me to share this clever idea with you.
Each member of the family is assigned an animal name that matches his or her personality. This isn’t meant to be mean, but amusing and inspirational.
Arlene, my friend, was aghast when her family anointed her as the elephant. She asked, “Is that because I’m large?”
“No, they replied. It is because you, like elephants, are so caring. A female will look after another mother’s calf when needed. When danger lurks near, the elephants will form a circle around the youngsters to protect them.” Her family feels that Arlene is such a caregiver. She is concerned about her family and goes out of the way to care for them.
She told me about a young adult in the family who was having a hard time growing up. The family found it difficult to assign an animal to him. Finally they chose the turtle. The turtle moves slow and sometimes never seems to get anywhere. But, he finally reaches the finish line and is a winner. How’s that for motivating an immature youth?
Let’s have some fun. Today I want you to assign yourself an animal. Think about your talents, personality, and disposition. Who will you be??? Now be nice to yourself.
Will you be the monkey who, by swinging from branch to branch, seems to have more energy than others to get things done? Maybe you are the roaring king of the jungle who leads others with your gift of organization and expertise. Are maybe you are the giraffe who looks above and beyond the circumstances and rises to every occasion.
I won’t share my animal with you, but for those who know me personally, take your pick. Each of us is unique and each has gifts to accomplish the tasks God gives us.
On his first visit to the zoo a little boy stared at the caged stork for a long time then asked his dad, “Why doesn’t the stork recognize me?”
Not only does our God recognize us, He created us in His image. He gave us a unique personality. What a wonder that is! Isn’t our God great!
Dear Father, Let me see myself through your eyes. You love me. Help me love myself. You created me with special characteristics. Help me to appreciate them. You gave me special talents. Lead me to use them for your service.