Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, January, 2016

posted Dec 31, 2015, 7:53 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Dec 31, 2015, 7:53 AM ]

Cultivating Appreciation

    I came across a quotation rather recently to the effect that the secret of success is to grow antennae rather than horns. It set me to thinking that this expression: “Grow Antennae, Not Horns!” could serve as our guiding resolution or motto as we stand on the threshold of the new year and in fact for all the rest of our lives.

     Comparatively speaking, we as human beings walk about the earth practically blind, almost deaf and with our other senses greatly dulled. No human, for example, can see nearly as well as most birds. Ornithologists tell us that an owl can see ten times more clearly in dim light than an average human. An eagle has telescopic vision far superior to ours. In addition to telescopic vision birds also have microscopic abilities that enable them to notice and define what is far too small to engage our attention.

     Compared to many of the other creatures around us our sense of smell is also severely limited. The olfactory lobes of a dog, the smelling patches that pick up scent, if spread out flat, would have forty times the area of a human. A dog runs with his nose to the ground, savoring odors of which humans are unaware. One scent here tells a dog that a squirrel has recently loped over the trail while another odor reveals that a toad sits hidden under a nearby fern. Truly, our smell perception compared to that of a dog is trifling.

     Some insects have sensitivity to scent more wondrous than any dog. Place a female moth which you can not smell yourself inside a window screen and male moths will be attracted from all over the countryside – from up to a mile away.

    The natural world is crammed with sights, smells and sounds far beyond the range of human comprehension. Robins seem to detect the sounds of earthworms crawling under-ground through the soil. Virtually sightless moles can detect the sound of an insect's movement and rush to a distant end of their tunnel for a meal.

     Actually, the real tragedy of dull human awareness lies not so much in our limitations, but rather in our failure to use fully such consciousness as we do possess. Herein lies our real poverty. Our souls are deprived and poor not because of what we are unable to see or hear, but because of what we are able to sense and yet fail to appreciate.

    Beauty is all around us; goodness and glory are spread all about, just awaiting our perception and enjoyment.

     The Psalmist trusted that God's goodness and mercy, beauty and love, were chasing after him every day of his life. I think that is true, but not necessarily self-evident. Tune your antenna/ae to what God is doing in His wonderful world and have a blessed and rewarding New Year.

 George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries