We were on the very back of the ship, the first ship I’d ever been on, mesmerized by the thoughts of what lay ahead. Walking around while waiting to disembark, I snapped one photo after another just trying to take it all in, attempting to preserve some of the magic of the first day. I walked right up to this bird sitting on the rail. It was as if this seagull was saying, “Ok, fool, here I am, take the picture already.” The camera couldn’t have been more than two feet away, and the bird never moved a muscle, or in this case a feather. With the overcast skies, the clarity of this image is one of my favorites from our trip. The many shades of gray in this bird caused me to think of the wonder of creation.
The hues and shadows contrasted by that orange beak were incredible. Along with this image are hundreds of others from our trip, each unique in its own way, yet all capturing the glory of God’s creative power. I’ve never really thought of gray as a beautiful color, but this image changed my mind. Beautiful or not, I realize these birds have a bad reputation. Often they are referred to as “flying rats with wings.” They are perceived as dirty, diseased creatures which invade homes, nest inside, and scavenge for food. Whether true or not, they are also known as “thieves.” Probably more from the movie “Finding Nemo” than any other reason, since they are portrayed as dumb birds, incapable of nothing more than the word “mine” as they chase anything and everything they see as food. But they don’t just steal the chips from your plate, they also will take bits of fish from feeding whales, hence the thief perception.
When seagulls act in these ways, they are only behaving (if we can call it that) in the way God designed them to act in their DNA. If they are scavengers, then God created them with this instinct, and regardless of how we feel about it, in this way they bring glory to God. So this made me think, “do I bring as much glory to God in living out my design, as this seagull does in his?”
Perhaps at times we completely miss the fact that we are here not by accident but by design, with intention, and purpose. The challenge becomes to know what our purpose is, and what God’s intention was in creating and designing us this way. Consider David’s response:
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it well.
Bless the LORD, all you works of His, in all places of His dominion; bless the LORD, O my soul!
So if I glean anything at all from the seagull within context of David’s observations, like the seagull, I too am a glorious creature of God’s own design. And, I am to give thanks, praise Him, and bless Him, deep in my soul.
In the gray hues of the seagull, as well as the gray hues of my existence, we both are to glorify God in all that we do. One does it by instinct, the other by choice and will. We need to remember who we are, and act accordingly.
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