Last summer I got stung four times by jellyfish while visiting Tybee Island. If you don’t follow me on Twitter than you probably missed that fascinating series of tweets that mostly involved me saying stuff like “Got stung by a jelly fish again today! Why does this keep happening?”
Looking back on it a year later it’s pretty obvious why it kept happening. I was in the ocean. Where jellyfish live. And I have amazing skin. Pores most people kill for. Just completely irresistible to most forms of marine life. The bigger question is, “Why am I not constantly getting stung by jellyfish, even when I’m not in the ocean? What is keeping them away from me in the grocery store or when I’m playing jai lai?”
Once I had chopped some wood and wrestled a bear so I could forget the pain of the stings, two activities I regularly do to offset the lack of manliness my unbelievable skin generates, I forgot all about the jellyfish.
Until the aquarium.
I saw a trio of jellyfish floating in the water and the first thought I had was one I was not expecting,
“The world didn’t have to be beautiful.”
Have you ever thought about that?
Jellyfish didn’t need to look like canopied dreams, flying underwater with a grace that shames ballet dancers.
Sunsets didn’t have to look like paint sets exploded against the wall, slowly falling down the horizon.
The tide on this planet didn’t need to dance with the pull of a glowing sphere thousands of miles away.
God didn’t have to make the world beautiful.
He could have designed sunsets like we designed light switches. On, off. He could have been utilitarian. Function meets function with form nowhere to be found. Instead, the deeper we explore the planet, the more we see the creativity he’s whimsically hidden on every inch.
Fish that provide their own light. Slugs that are neon and fireworked. Hundreds of species of butterflies migrating thousands of miles on wings that are gossamer thin. He’s playful in his design, curious and colorful in ways we can barely scratch the surface of.
Though we often paint God in two colors, “gray” and “angry,” the more I see the world, the harder it is for me to think he’s vanilla.
Have you ever seen something in nature that made you see the creativity of God?