If you’ve read any of my past blog posts, you may remember that I tend see a lot of God on the Animal Planet. First I wrote about a leopard, and then a zebra, and now it’s time to write about an orphaned white rhino calf called Shongi.
Shongi’s was killed by poachers, and its calf—all 300 pounds of it—was too young to take care of itself, so humans became its substitute mother with the intention of eventually returning the young rhino to the wild. They fed Shongi with 20-pound bottles of milk and had to teach it how to navigate a wild rhino’s world.
What really caught my attention, however, is how Shongi’s handlers had to teach the calf how to wallow, something a mother rhino would teach her calf. Wallowing is how large mammals roll or lie in mud or water, not just to keep cool, but also to keep from getting sunburned or bitten by insects. It’s a skill that seems unproductive but proves to be life saving.
Don’t you think—and here I may be reaching too far—that learning to wallow is a lot like learning to pray? Seemingly wasting time wallowing in God’s own holy mud can often give us the protective edge we need to keep from being sunburned by pride and ego or being over taken over by the biting urges of our unruly passions. The more I think about it, God’s grace as mud doesn’t seem that outrageous. Instead, it seems a good thing to wallow in.