A Little Bit of Heaven in Nature

Giraffes, Elephant and Lion from Kruger National Park in South Africa
This past week has been spent in Kruger National Park in South Africa observing lions, elephants, giraffe, zebra, monkeys, baboons, buffalo and many more species. Many colorful birds and the little creatures as well have piqued our interest. As I write this post, we have just come back from an early morning feast of wildlife. Sitting quietly along a river bank, windows rolled down, listening to the early morning sounds as the sun began to rise was an awesome experience. Suddenly, we saw a burst of impala and baboon activity across the Sabie River and the quietness was shattered by the call of a leopard (we think!). We never did see what set off the commotion, but it was exciting to listen and watch the drama.
Fortunately, my wife was able to join me on this trip. It has been a very special experience for us both. Rather than getting frustrated in traffic jams, we have enjoyed elephant, giraffe, zebra, baboon and guinea fowl jams whenever possible! The quiet peace afforded by this wonderful wildlife preserve has provided relaxation for our bodies, rest for our minds, and inspiration for our souls. As we round most corners we want to shout, “Praise God,” as our eyes and ears are filled with new wonder and beauty.
Are you trapped in the mundane and hum-drum of life? Do you long for a renewing of your mind and body? Then pack a picnic lunch, and head out to a park or nature preserve near you. We did just that several weeks ago near our home for just a couple of hours. While it wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime trip to enjoy exotic African wildlife, it was very refreshing and soothing. A mini-break in the middle of a busy day for your health.
While this week as been a little heaven on earth for us, there have been the constant reminders how many of these beautiful creatures hunt others for their sustenance. This reminds me of the promise in Isaiah 11:6-7: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” I look forward to that day!