As I’ve aged in life, I’ve noticed, there are times when certain animals reveal themselves to be much more fascinating than I remember from days of childhood. As a child I understood there were worms and birds and that each were created for a purpose, however it wasn’t until later that the inter-connectedness of God’s creation was clear to me. Once I accepted God’s creations are without flaw, I knew then the creator must have a sense of humor for that was the only explanation I could muster as to why there would be a bird that could glide underwater and not the sky.
Indeed, the penguin dominated my fascination and curiosities in a pandemonium that produced a plethora of plushness: an army of various sized penguins with varying degrees of dapper. All of these fishbirds are exclusive to the holiday season and annually fortify themselves in spontaneous fashion with no regard for the cohabitation of others. Begrudgingly, the cats tolerate them and their jingles while the children will certainly move them here or there indiscriminately. They are elves on shelves but twenty strong, and there seems to be no end to the smiles and laughter they produce. Further, the sight and absurdity of their dominance over the household from Thanksgiving through Epiphany continues to help reduce the adults to children and best prepares our family for the whirlwind of the holiday season to come.
In truth, our house responds very well to this winter invasion and it creates memories that are imprinted deep because they are memories of love. I have no doubt that my young children will grow into adults that will find joy and laughter readily available when thinking of Christmas memories. And if that season ever seems dim or dark to them, I know too that they will feel a penguin watching them and won’t help but laugh at their father, who so loved the penguins. I am pleased to share my obsession with family and the memories made continue to be among my favorite things.
~ Daniel Miller
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Maker of heaven and earth, we praise You and give You thanks for the creatures that inhabit this planet with us. We marvel at the diversity and we ask You to help us be good stewards of the earth. As we raise our voices to praise Jesus and his birth, we rejoice knowing that everything that breathes can praise You. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.