18 August 2011

I Didn't Buy A Zoo, But I Went To One:

I leave for West Virginia tomorrow morning, so instead of packing I went to the Bronx Zoo.  I would imagine that most people spend time packing before they move into a new apartment.  But alas, I started at 8:00pm.  The wise decision to stay home and prepare for the trek to Morgantown was easily over ridden by the irresistible invitation to the zoo.  I am very happy with the decision I made even though it wasn't the wisest.  Not only was I able to spend my final day in New Jersey with people I love, but I also got to see some lions.  It's been much too long.

Side note: I'm convinced that everyone from New York and New Jersey was at the zoo today.  I've never been to the zoo when it was that crowded, it was a new experience for sure.  I'm not a huge fan of sweaty strangers running into me, but it was still a good time despite the masses of people.

I took some pictures of the animals to share.  Part of me really likes going to the zoo to see animals I would never otherwise see.  However, it makes me sad to know that most of their lives start and finish inside a cage.  They're so beautiful, it's unfortunate that they never get to experience the wild.

 Fuzzy Face Bison

 Pére David's Deer

Sheepin' polar bear.

Saggy lip, hairy neck camel.

 The alligator is watching.  He wanted to snack on the kids running around his tank.

 I was taking a bunch of pictures of this pretty lady.  Then she vomited into her hands and started eating it; I walked away disgusted and disappointed.  Not very lady like.

 The zebras were eating up the attention.

 Licking his paw like the vicious beast that he is.

Then one of his lady friends came over to say 'ello.
Such a handsome man.  He looks really fierce, but he was just yawning.

I really like lions.  I liked them even more after I saw this video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDZaWgf_bk0.  It's the heartwarming story of a lion named Christian and his human family.  Be warned, you may have an uncontrollable urge to cry out of joy.  Don't be ashamed, just let it all out.  I promise you won't be the only one.

It's so amazing to look at God's creatures and see how each one has a very distinct role in the world.  Like these animals, we all have very different roles; we were all given different gifts.  If a zebra tried to act like a lion it would just lead to frustration and be unnatural.  There are characteristics we were all given that set us apart from others.  We need to harness those gifts and use them.  Instead of feeling disappointed that we aren't very good at something, we should embrace the things we can do well.  The zebra doesn't look at the lion and think, "I wish my hair grew in that color instead of black and white."  I think we can all agree that without the stripes zebras just wouldn't be all that special.  We should be thanking God for making us all unique.

There are things about each of us that we may not like, but it's what makes us who we are.  For example: I'm flaky, I try so hard to be organized (but it's a daily struggle), I get lost easily and I lose everything.  Those are things I don't necessarily like about myself, however it's who I am.  It adds so much humor to my life and it's made me really laid back when things don't go according to plan.  Some people say "air head" or "dumb blond" but I see it as a blessing!  When things aren't working in my favor I can brush it off, because I so often mess up plans on my own.  Also, it makes me extremely careful and diligent with important matters.  If I have something important to do, I'll put so much extra work into it just so I don't mess anything up.  There are many blessings in our lives that we don't see, because we look at them the wrong way.  A change of attitude can transform a trial into a blessing.  I may not be organized, but it's okay because there are different gifts that I was given.  Even though I struggle, it's really a blessing in disguise! 

Quick story then I'll stop ranting about loving yourself again:  This past spring I was taking a bio final and because of my "air head" tendencies, things went very wrong.  I was the first to finish.  I was so confident in my performance, I thought for sure I got an A.  I went back to my room and after laying in my bed for about 15 minutes, I felt a strong urge to check my email (which I never ever do).  I had an email from my bio professor telling me to call him immediately.  So I called him and he told me that I didn't complete more than half of the exam.  My stomach dropped.  He told me I could come back and finish it if I hurried.  So I went and finished the 50 questions I left unanswered and thanked him for about ten minutes.  I have no doubt in my mind that God was telling me to check my email that morning.  I very rarely would check it, especially since classes were over.  God had my back (as He always does).  In a time where I would have failed miserably because of my "blessing in disguise", God scooped me up and used that blunder to help me grow.  If I had done well on that exam without almost failing, I wouldn't have been brought to tears by God's love for me.  I didn't deserve to be able to take that exam again; I deserved to fail because I was irresponsible.  But it all goes back to the gospel.  I deserve absolutely nothing and yet Jesus died so I could spend eternity in heaven.  It's truly moving how deep His love is for us.

We all have "blessings in disguise" it's just a matter of looking at troubling situations in a different light and seeing them as more than just an inconvenience.