Monday, September 5, 2011
Enjoying God’s Creatures
About a month ago our family visited the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch nearby our home in New Braunfels, TX. It is a wildlife park where you travel by car through 4 miles of Texas Hill Country terrain viewing a variety of animals from Africa and native Texas animals. According to their website they have over 40 different species of animals.
Before you begin you are given a bag of food to toss out of your car for the animals. Unlike a zoo where the animals are caged, here we humans are caged in our cars and the animals roam free in the confines of their territory.
The setting lended itself to great photography opportunities. I was driving so my wife, daughter, and nephew took most of the camera shots. I did get some in as you can see a couple photos here atop of this column. We enjoyed the opportunity to be so close to the animals.
The animals were very docile and probably enjoying the easy food. Even though it is best not to buy extra food, as the animals were primarily eating the grass and just saw our food as an extra snack on the side. For the most part everyone driving respected each other. There were a few pesky types that would impatiently drive faster than they should to get to the end of the trail quicker. If a person is in such a hurry why do they go to such a place where the pace is tranquil and slow?
The Ranch also had a small animal petting area of primarily goats and sheep for children to enjoy getting up close and personal with the animals. If you are in the New Braunfels, Texas area I would encourage you to check The Wildlife Ranch out.
Spending the morning there made me think of all the diversity in nature. I then thought of the God behind it all. When you view animals at a zoo or aquarium and think about the complexity and diversity I do not understand how people can not think of them as God’s creatures. Whether creationist or evolutionist, all this diversity demands a God behind it from my point of view. But of course others prefer to rest their belief in random chance.
At the end of the day I thought of memories of how my mother always enjoyed visiting zoos and aquariums. When she was alive and I lived in Chicago I flew her in to visit and we visited the Lincoln Park Zoo, The Aquarium in Chicago and the Brookfield Zoo. Some people do not like zoos as they feel it is caging up animals. Yet I feel zoos provide an opportunity for more people to understand and enjoy animals. They provide important education about wildlife and can help us appreciate God’s creatures.
Reflection: Take a visit some weekend soon to a local zoo, aquarium, or nature preserve to enjoy the animals and nature. Take a few moments at the end of the day to journal or draw your reflections of what you learned by observing the animals.