Each year at this time, an incredible event takes place on the African savannas of Tanzania and Kenya, a vast movement of up to two million creatures. Wildebeests, gazelles, zebras and other animals begin a journey, called "The Great Migration". This journey is focused on one thing, the search for new grass. Making a circle from the Serengeti, through the Maasai Mara and back again, they follow the rains of Africa. (The last phrase causes me to want to break out in a rendition of the famous 80's song by Toto, but, I refrain.) The migration differs each year as it is entirely dependent upon the timing of the rain.
One of my goals in writing these blogs is to acquaint the reader with the wonders and beauty of Africa. But, I also bear the responsibility to compare the natural world with the spiritual and share my findings ("For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."- Luke 12:48b). There is a natural order that is applied to all things created by our Creator. For instance, all creatures are born, live out their lives and die at a given time. And, crocodiles eat wildebeest, but, wildebeest do not eat crocodiles. You see, a natural law of sorts. Wikipedia defines, "Natural law (Latin: ius naturale, lex naturalis) is law that is held to exist independently of the positive law of a given political order, society or nation-state. As determined by nature, the law of nature is implied to be objective and universal; it exists independently of human understanding, and of the positive law of a given state, political order, legislature or society at large. Historically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature to deduce binding rules of moral behavior from nature's or God's creation of reality and mankind". As Wikipedia mentions, this law "exists independently of human understanding", meaning whether we understand it or not or whether we accept it or not, it still exists. Also, as stated, the law is "objective and universal", it is just and applies to all, no one is exempt. This is true of the spiritual world as well. God has set the standard and whether we choose to understand or ignore, it still exists and holds us accountable.
Back to the migration, each creature is urged on by the God-given instinct to press on toward the reward of fresh grass. It is as though they can smell it on the horizon. There are dangers along the journey, crocodiles notoriously await the animals along the edge and crossing of swollen rivers. Lions wait to cull the young, weak, and broken. Hunger, heat and thirst are ever present. But, the animals press on and never look back. God tells us many times in His Word to behold, consider or observe the things of nature to learn a spiritual lesson and I believe we can learn here from the great migration. Although we are bound by the natural law, we can live our lives to the fullest, allowing God's Spirit to guide us to our reward. We can enjoy the blessings along the way, but, we must be aware of the dangers, also. We, too, have spiritual lions seeking to devour us. And, remember, you don't always have to blend with the crowd, stand out from the herd, be a zebra.
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." - Philippians 3:13-15.
Photo courtesy and copyright of Shripal Daphtary of Unsplash.com.