Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sticking Your Neck Out: A Lesson From The Giraffe

I don’t know what it is about a giraffe that intrigues me.

At eighteen feet tall with a neck that spans seven feet, it towers well above other creatures. Despite its enormous height, the giraffe is graceful in its movements. Even when it has to stoop for a drink of water, it has to position itself carefully by angling its front legs. And when it gives birth, its calf drops nearly six feet to the ground.

One can’t help but be fascinated by such a unique animal.

There’s a deeper meaning behind its unique presence. With its neck being its most telling physical feature, one can’t walk away without the message of “sticking one’s neck out” in life -- of taking risks and making connections that serve our personal and spiritual growth. As the giraffe reaches to nibble on the tops of trees, it reminds me to reach for things that others may see as unreachable.

I look at the giraffe, and I see it as a being which links the physical and the spiritual, with its feet planted firmly on the ground and its head high in the sky, where it can see much farther than others. It tells me to stay grounded and to see high above any of my problems. It reminds me to have vision and to move through life with grace and poise.

I don’t know what God had in mind when creating this strangely endearing being. One can’t help but smile at its whimsy. If we are to take a lesson from the giraffe, it is that we are beings of enormous potential; we are to stand tall, stay balanced, and to rise to any challenge. With God’s grace, we can and we will.

Photo Courtesy of Google Images (photographer unknown or not credited).

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