Friday, August 7, 2015

DEVOTION: Looking to the Stars ~ by Shirley Corder

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 NIV

Near to my home in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, is the magnificent Addo Elephant National Park. It is the third largest national park in South Africa,and is home to the big five as well as a large number of other animals. It is also home to the flightless dung beetle which is almost unique to that area of Africa.

The first time we visited this park in our car, I was fascinated to learn that the Dung Beetle has the right of way! 

As their name suggests, they live on the faeces or dung of other animals, especially that of the elephant and the buffalo. When they trace a pile of fresh dung,they quickly roll some into a ball up to ten times their size, and race from the area, hoping to escape the highway robbers, who want to avoid the work involved in forming the balls.

The heavy rollers stand on their front legs with their heads to the ground, and push with their hind legs. They roll the ball in a totally straight line, no matter what’s in their way. 

If they sense they are going off course, they pause, climb on top of their dirt mountain, and do a little dance. In 2003, a group of researches discovered this is so they can reorient themselves by means of the Milky Way! They are the only known insects at this time who are known to navigate by means of the galaxy.

By their conscientious burying of animal faeces, they not only remove it from the scene, thus preventing spread of disease, they add a wealth of nutrients to the soil.

When we think of creation, we think of dinosaurs and elephants, rhinos and hippos, maybe even dogs and cats. But do we ever stop to think that God also created the tiny little dung beetle? And He gave him the important task of helping to clean up after the elephants and buffalo in the land of Africa! Best of all, he taught him that when he goes off course, he only needs to look up to the stars!

Of course, we can look beyond the stars to the Creator Himself. Isn't it amazing that God paid so much attention to the tiniest of creatures. How much more attention did He give to the creation of the ones he made in His own image? Kind of blows the mind, doesn't it?

PRAYER: Lord God, thank you that when you created us, you gave us the ability to be in contact with you at all times. Teach us to keep our eyes on you throughout the day. Amen. 

Be honest now. When you sense you've taken a wrong turn, do you use a map? Or a compass? Or a GPS? Or can you navigate your way by looking at the night sky? Better still, do you pray for divine guidance? Please drop your response in a comment box below.

SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast in South Africa with her husband, Rob. Her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer contains 90 meditations based on her time in the cancer valley.

Sign up here to receiva short devotional message from Shirley in your inbox once a week.

Please visit Shirley through, where she encourages writers, or at, where she encourages those in the cancer valley. You can also meet with her on Twitter or FaceBook 


  1. Shirl, fascinating post! I've heard of dung beetles but I wasn't aware of the role they play in our ecosystem. Thanks for sharing your inspiring and encouraging words with us :)

  2. Thanks Narelle. They are such fascinating little creatures. We sat and watched them a little while ago at the Addo Elephant Park. They are SO energetic, never stopping for a breather.

  3. I knew the dung beetle engaged in this activity, but not why. Amazing, and even more amazing the God who created the little creature. I have been living in a new city for the past year. After my husband passed away, my daughter & family invited me to move in. I knew how to get around in my previous city, but here I use a GPS! However I do know God is my ultimate guide.

    1. Thanks so much for your input Mary. I guess we ignorant mortals have to rely on electronics. It would look strange if you climbed on your roof-top and danced every night! :-) So sorry about your husband. That must be so very hard to deal with. We have just celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary a couple of days ago, and I found myself imagining life without my husband. We've been together nearly 2/3 of my life!