Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion June 6, 2018


Ostriches. For some reason I have this real fondness for ostriches. I don’t know why. I don’t remember having any real experiences with ostriches growing up. I don’t remember any cute stories about ostriches or movies about ostriches that would have led to this ostrich attraction. It isn't because of how ostriches look. Ostriches are not very attractive - they have that long bare neck and a body of fluffy feathers that aren’t a particularly pretty color and always looked mussed and this weirdly shaped head that really looks too small for its body and these bare legs. Not a pretty bird at all - and I understand they are not particularly friendly……
So I’m not sure what it was that made Ostriches one of my top 10 favorite animals (I know it is a bird but to me it looks and acts more like an animal.)
I know why I am terrified of spiders - it is because when I was quite young I went to my great uncle’s house and he was watching a movie about giant spiders tromping down a village and eating people and from that moment on spiders became my great fear.
I also know why I have a healthy respect for some other animals - such as giraffes. I was at a zoo when I was young back when zoos weren’t designed to keep people safely away from large jungle animals. While I was gleefully standing by a fenced in area that sort of kept in giraffes, a giraffe came over to the fence where I am sure he was use to getting fed. There was that quarter machine which dispensed food for you to feed the giraffes and when I had fed the giraffe lots of delicious food, I turned my back to let the people I was with know I had fed a giraffe cause I thought that was pretty exciting, the giraffe decided I had not quite fed him enough so he leaned over the fence and took the rest of his meal out of my shoulder…..
But then how many people can say they had been bitten by a giraffe?
That was the same zoo where I mistakenly turned my back on a cage of monkeys when one of the monkeys reached through the bars of the cage and grabbed my hair and would not let go until a zoo staff person came and released me to some loud jabbering from the distressed monkey!
Come to think of it I got bit by a horse one time as well - of course that was my fault because I had been warned to stay away from this horse and when everyone was distracted I wandered down to see the horse who quickly took a large bite out of the front of my shoulder.
I don’t know why this story about ostriches degraded into my poor experiences with animals. It probably was a good idea that I didn’t decide to become a vet even though that was one of the career choices rumbling around in my brain as I was trying to decide my future….. If I were a vet all that would have happened would have been animal bitings!
I’ve not had any of these unpleasant experiences with ostriches so maybe that is why I like them better than other animals who in my subconscious I am worried are just waiting to take a hunk of my flesh!
I do enjoy looking at ostriches and I remember one time going to a small zoo where you rode on a train through the fields which had lots of large safari type animals. We went through a Zebra area and a camel area and and antelope area and we came to an ostrich area and I was quite excited to be this close to my favorite animal.
Lo and behold, our train broke down right in the ostrich compound! So for about 20 minutes we were able to sit on our train and commune with the myriad of ostriches! I was beside myself with excitement!!
Of course my kids will never forget the time when I was driving them to camp and fortunately we were driving on a little traveled 2-lane road when all of a sudden I slammed on the brakes and pointed as I exclaimed “Ostriches!” And sure enough there in a yard beside a house and in that yard out in the middle of nowhere - were ostriches - 4 of them to be exact. Someone after my own heart had made some ostriches their personal pets! Why didn’t I think of that?
Of course what made me think of all these ostrich experiences was the trip I made last week to my daughter’s house and as we are going to my granddaughter’s T-ball game my daughter told me she had a treat for me on the way - ‘What could it be?’ I wondered. And sure enough, in a field by someone’s house, there was an ostrich! Joy!
So why is it that I have this fondness for ostriches? I don’t know - I just do. Do you ever wonder why God has this love for you? You haven’t earned it. We aren’t particularly ‘good’ as compared to God. There is little about us that would put us on a heavenly plane. We fail daily (or more likely hourly) and yet we are loved and special to our God. There is no more reason than that - God just loves us, just as we are and he delights in us just as I delight in seeing Ostriches randomly out in a field.
What a great God who takes us just as we are and calls us his and is as joyful for us as I am for ostriches!


These devotions began in 2006 as a way to give us a midweek boost as we live out our lives as the people of God! Feel free to share them if you wish.