My husband and I were travelling slowly along a road in the Kruger National Park. I lifted a pair of binoculars to study the distant terrain. Suddenly two out-of-focus poles shot past my window.
“What was that?” I asked.
“I didn’t see anything,” my husband replied. We looked back and saw a huge giraffe right alongside the road. We had driven by his legs so close, concentrating on the road and the far distance, that we failed to see what was right above our noses!
There's a lesson in that! Do we pay too much attention to the future, to the things that may or may not happen, that we fail to see what's happening in the now?
In the savanna grass of Africa, a tree-trimmer is needed to keep the fast-growing acacia trees from blocking out the sun from the grass below, so it can continue to provide nourishment for the earth-bound grass-eaters. And so God gave us the giraffe!
We all know he is the tallest animal in the world. He can grow up to 5.5 meters (18 feet)—tall enough to look in a second-story window without standing on tiptoe! I wonder if Noah had to build a special compartment in the ark for him?
His height enables him to act as a sentinel for other animals.He has excellent eyesight and a curious disposition. When he sees predator cats approaching, he warns other animals with a few swishes of his tail, then moves from danger with his eighteen-foot stride.
In the same way as we all have different DNA and different fingerprints, no two giraffes have the same pattern in their beautiful coats. So, like us, every giraffe is unique.
The world would be a safer place for us all if the nations would learn from the giraffe. These gentle, peaceful animals only attack if they are threatened, and they never discriminate against giraffes who have a different skin pattern or who come from a different region. Can the same be said of us?
PRAY WITH ME: Lord, thank you for the lessons we can learn from giraffes. Forgive us for the times we get angry for no real cause, and for the times we judge others just because they are different to us. Help us to remember we are unique, made in your own image, and conduct ourselves accordingly. Thank you Lord! Amen.
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.