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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 8:2-3’

During the recent school holidays, we decided to take our two youngest grandchildren to the new zoo in the Western Sydney Parklands, courtesy of the NSW Government’s ‘Dine and Discover’ vouchers. And we are so glad we did.

At first, our grandson wanted to head straight to see the crocodile, but we persuaded him instead to see the animals in order, starting with the cute little meerkats. Then we managed to reach the elephant enclosure just in time to see them fed. When the zookeeper asked the crowd a couple of questions, then chose our grandson to answer, since his hand had shot up so quickly, I held my breath. And to my amazement, both his answers turned out to be correct.

‘I read how African elephants have bigger ears than Asian ones on the sign back there, Nanna,’ he told me. ‘And I just guessed elephants don’t have any bones in their trunks!’

He was alert. He was engaged. And as we kept walking, I began to see all those animals with fresh eyes—the eyes of an eager, nine-year-old boy and his seven-year-old sister. We did our best to spot the African painted dog and the sleepy hyenas. We marvelled at the size of the giraffes and the lion and the weird-looking camels. We watched enthralled as that beautiful, elegant tiger prowled straight towards its ‘prey’—a pretend, cardboard zebra where the keepers had hidden its food. Then at last, we reached the huge, scary-looking crocodile in its big tank. Both children watched fascinated for ages, as it slowly moved to the surface, much to their joy. Yes, they were definitely impressed with their crocodile. And soon, I too began to marvel at its amazing ridged, armour-like skin, large claws—and of course those menacing teeth!

But not long after, we reached the reptile house, where the huge pythons we discovered there almost eclipsed the crocodile, along with gaudy, green tree snakes and large lizards, some so well camouflaged I needed our grandchildren’s help to spot them. Then, of all things, the frogs captured our granddaughter’s attention. Yes, I was definitely seeing even the more ordinary creatures with fresh eyes.

Later, as I reflected on our zoo experiences, it occurred to me to wonder what else in my life I needed to look at with fresh eyes. What about the trees outside my window—and the beautiful flowering shrubs nearby? What about my family and friends? Most importantly, what about God? Do I need to stop and be amazed all over again at who God is and what God has done? Have I lost some of the awe and wonder I once felt when gazing at God’s handiwork in nature and in the people around me? And do I also need to see with fresh eyes what God has done in my own life and be so much more thankful for it all?

I think it’s high time I cultivated a childlike heart again that looks and marvels and truly believes, don’t you? After all, that’s what Jesus told us to do.

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 8:2-3

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