Much of mankind loves to classify and sort things. We like to sort socks by color and shirts by kind. We categorize books topically. We arrange files alphabetically. We organize tools by their function. We take pictures of people by their size (“tallest in the back, shortest up front”) and then arrange them chronologically in “properly” labeled albums. We like things certain ways; we want things “just so”; and when things do not fall in line with our ideas and expectations, we wonder what happened.
Sometimes we just need to “sit back, relax, and enjoy the view” of God’s handiwork. The Lord says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Sometimes we need to press the pause button and take a page out of God’s Creation revelation (Romans 1:20). Recognize that not everything fits neatly in a systematic filing system, and be thankful that God filled the Earth with His glorious, “manifold…works” (Psalm 104:24; Isaiah 6:3)—that He created all manner of creatures, some of which do not fit neatly in a sorting system, but certainly declare their Maker’s majesty.
Take the duck-billed platypus, for example. It is unlike any other animal on Earth. Scientists classify the platypus as a mammal, but it hardly fits neatly into this category. It is about the size of a house cat with fur thicker than a polar bear’s. It can store food in its mouth like a chipmunk. It has a beaver-like tail and webbed feet like an otter. It has spurs like a rooster, lays eggs like a turtle, and produces venom like a snake. Last, but not least, it has a clumsy-looking, duck-like bill with a complex electro-receptor system in it that allows the platypus to sense weak electric impulses in the muscles of its prey (Scheich, et al., 1986, 319:401-402). The platypus’ modern scientific name (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) means “duck-like, bird snout,” yet we call it a mammal. Truly, if there was ever an animal to call “unique,” it would be the platypus….
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