Dinosaur thoughts

Psalm 104:24
A question from the latest edition of the Smithsonian magazine intrigued me.

It was from the discussion section–think Letters to the Editor. Readers write in to comment on topics from previous editions. Of all things, the question that grabbed my imagination was about dinosaurs.

Someone wondered how dinosaurs grew to be so gigantic. Considering the host of other smaller animals, what was different about dinosaurs? I paused when I read that. It never dawned on me to ask such a question. Dinosaurs were big. Period. What more is there to know?

Well, if you’re awestruck by the greatness of God’s Creation, a lot.

I spent the next twenty minutes contemplating evolutionary ideas. Were they a one-time occurrence, these dinosaurs? Could they make a comeback? Or are they already here and they just haven’t grown yet? As a side note, did you know there’s an active discussion about bringing back the wooly mammoth?

Learning to think about questions you don’t even know to ask takes effort. It takes patience. And it takes wonder.

Ever notice how many questions children ask? They’ve got a lot to learn. There’s so much about the world they don’t know. We become their tour guides to the awesomeness of God’s world. Somewhere along the way, though, we learn enough to satisfy ourselves.

And that’s when we stop asking the questions. That’s unfortunate, of course, because of all the things we know, there is so much more we don’t.

Now, I’m all for seeking knowledge and understanding. That’s what you get when you learn to ask about the world. But I’m more tuned into the attitude behind the desire to learn. How much have we taken in of God’s world that leads us to ask the next question? When we stop being intrigued by the world, we stop learning to see the wonders of God. 

I’ll repeat what the psalmist declared: O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

The many and various works of God fill the world around us. Are we inspired by them? Whoever wrote Psalm 104 was. Read the entire psalm to see all the more works he recognized. What he did was intriguing, too. He connected the wonders of Creation to God’s care of the world. “All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time” (Verse 27).

See? It’s not only about sightseeing. It’s about recognizing all the ways God cares for the world, how God cares for us.

I’m glad I had a chance to think about dinosaurs. I may never get answers to the questions I asked, but that’s okay. That doesn’t take away from the wonder of thinking about them.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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