It is Sunday afternoon, and I am in town this weekend. The trees are swaying gently in the breeze, a bird I don’t usually hear is chirping in another tree round the other side of the house, and the low rumbling of motor vehicles breaks the silence as the drivers pass along the road not far away.
This has been a long month… long and with lots of peddling to reach not far at all. I was getting tired and frustrated, until I received a fax request from a friend. He was asking that I send him a fax of a Zebra. Huh! I thought. Why of all the animals, a Zebra? Nothing wrong with them, but up until then, I suddenly realized I had only used them as a backdrop for a story about something else.
Anyhow, I shared a small video of a lion I had … as a fax instead. I was not prepared for the response I got… I could almost have taken the lion away as they firmly stated their opinion. ‘A lion cannot replace a Zebra!’ they said… ‘We like Zebra… they are pretty’… and so made it clear to me that much as I was ignoring the Zebra, Zebra is what they wanted.
I began to reflect about why I had ignored the Zebra to this day. Not for lack of photographs for sure, and not for reasons of not liking them either. Was I perhaps taking the Zebra for granted? I had begun to hear them running and scuttling about in the garden since the days I lived in a tent, and formed an opinion of them… ‘These are not very smart creatures’ I decided. ‘How can they just run all over the place and go around banging themselves against the trees and poles outside the tents, cough, cough, coughing away all night?’
I truly had taken them for granted. ‘They will always come this way another day… Nothing fascinating about them, apart from the stripes’, I told myself. ‘They follow the wildebeest and as long as they keep coming, the Zebra will follow them… and stay on long after they have left.’ They were not that important to me because they do not do anything fascinating that I know of anyway. What little I knos is that they follow the wildebeest because the wildebeest make it easier for them to get the type of grass they like, by eating up the type of grass they do not like. A little lazy perhaps?
Yet my friends wanted them… ‘because they are pretty’, they said. And so I learned something from my friends this week… that everything in the Garden, no matter what role it plays, has value in the Garden… that it is all beautiful in its own way, and can give each one of us an opportunity to share positively each and every day…. again, no matter what role they play … or how well they play it.
So I ask you today: ‘Are you taking something or someone for granted in your life?’ Take a minute and reflect, for maybe one day, when it is too late, you will yearn for, but no longer have the opportunity to show your appreciation for something granted by God Himself… and no longer have the opportunity to share a beautiful experience with God, with that someone, and with those around you… in the Garden.
Come… walk with me in the Garden.
Copyright © 2010, Ophelia Swai. All Rights Reserved.