Friday, November 2, 2007

Lessons from an Armadillo

I live in Texas. I have not always been a Texan, in fact I only moved here about 3 years ago when my husband and I married. I have always been an animal lover though. Weird thing is, animals love me also. Tame ones, wild ones, they both seem to not be too afraid of me.

Since moving to Texas I have come across many different critters that I had not seen before. Among my favorite are roadrunners and armadillos.

Texans look at armadillos like we from the north think of groundhogs. However, to me they are cute.

The little fellow pictured here is what my husband called a juvenile. I got up one morning and he/she was wandering around just off my patio. Being the type of person I am I wanted to get close... real close. I walked to the end of the patio and bent down to try to touch it. Actually I picked it up a little bit just to feel it.

I then got my camera, walked in front of it and called it, well talked to it. Sure enough, it started walking right at me, that is when I took this shot. I then went over and felt it again. Look at that nose! And those cute ears. He is adorable!

I have learned some things about the armadillo since moving here. Touching it taught me things, and then from watching it I learned more.

Armadillos have a hard shell, this is on the outside, but unlike a turtle they can't crawl into it. They have nine separate pieces that make up that shell.

They are not real fast, but can go pretty good when they need to.

When I went to pick up the armadillo I put my hand over the top of it's body to lift it up like you would a turtle. As I touched it it hopped up, so it actually landed in my hand. I found out this defense mechanism is actually what gets them hit on the road. They are short enough that a car or truck can go right over them, but fear makes them jump into the bottom of the car and gets them killed. If they did not hop, they would just have the car go over them.

Armadillos dig holes. They nose around, will turn over rocks, dig up plants and make lots of holes in the yard. You can see by this little guy here that as he digs down he is really into his work. This is because they eat bugs. Lots of bugs. We have fire ants and armadillos will eat them. I would rather have them than the fire ants!

As I watch the armadillo and think about that day, I think about how God made each animal with it's own characteristics. They are all unique in the way they are made and live, the way they are made to protect themselves.

The Bible says God created everything, and that his attributes can be seen in His creation. (For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20).

When I look at animals and creation I look at what God made. I look for what me, as a man, can learn from watching the animals.

What have I learned from this armadillo? A number of things. For one, so many of us put on a hard outer shell to protect ourselves because we have so many fears. Yet when danger comes, instead of being still and knowing that God is God, we jump and run right into the very thing that can hurt us.

Like the armadillo, we need to dig for our food. Spiritual food that is. We need to dig into God's word and pour through it to get all we can.

There are many other things we can learn, I just shared a few. Look at life differently, watch creation and learn about it. God has so much to teach us if we will just listen.