Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Penguin Pondering

What do you picture when you think of a penguin? If you are like me, you think of a bird that waddles a bit, swims very well, lives in cold weather, and is dressed in a tuxedo. OK, granted, I didn’t do well in biology or geography, but I think most people have the same basic ideas about penguins.

I knew that some of them look different from others, but I never really realized how many different species there are until my six year-old became interested in them. He quizzes me about them, just to reinforce how much he knows and how much I do not.

Just last week, when we were in the car, he asked my wife and me if we knew what type of penguin could do a certain thing. We both responded in the negative. He informed us that a Rockhopper penguin was the type that could do what he asked about. I asked him if he made that up. I had never heard of a Rockhopper penguin. Of course, I went right home and got on the internet. Sure enough, the Rockhopper penguin really does exist. (Yes, that is a picture of a Rockhopper on the right). In fact, there are sixteen different species of penguin. Who knew!

That’s just scratching the surface in the animal kingdom. It is estimated that there are up to 100 million different species of animals living in the world today. That’s pretty diverse.

Interestingly enough, those numbers do not include humans. The world population right now is estimated to be about 6.7 billion people. Do you know how many different types of humans there are? About 6.7 billion. How many humans are exactly alike? None.

In the entire world, there is nobody just like you. There may be someone out there who looks like you, but get down to the genetic makeup, and they will be much different. Even twins have major differences that can distinguish them. Just ask a parent of twins and they can tell you quickly how different their children are from one another.

God made you to be you. You have gifts, talents, interests, skills, and physical abilities that nobody else has. God designed you just the way you are. You are hard-wired to accomplish certain things within the Kingdom of God.

Since I am a pastor, there are some people that I may reach for Christ due to what I do for a living. However, there are people who will never enter a church door, who also need Jesus. God hand-picked you and wired you to be the perfect one to reach someone like that.

Instead of wishing you could sing, speak in public, run marathons, play in the NFL, act, dance, make good grades, or whatever it is you may be envious about, embrace who you are in the Kingdom, and ask God to show you what your role is in it. If God’s Kingdom was full of preachers, what would that be like? If everyone was athletic or smart, would the Kingdom be better off? No. God needs us all; just the way He made us.

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:12-19; 27 NIV)

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