Monday, July 09, 2012

Even the slowest of creatures are given provision

Have you ever heard of the sloth?

It’s an animal that lives in the tropical rain forests of central and South America. It is called the sloth for obvious reasons. It has extremely slow movements (2m per minute while on the ground) and sleeps a lot (10 to 16 hours per day).

Its diet consists of leaf buds, tender shoots, and leaves. It is also reported that some species also eat insects, small reptiles, and even human feces to supplement its diet. But due to this diet, they gain very limited amount of energy from their food.

They compensate for the lack of energy they get from their food by a very slow metabolism rate, in addition to their limited amount of movement. That way, they don't use too much energy to survive. They do occasionally use bursts of energy, for example when they have to escape from a predator or when they need to defecate or urinate (they climb down the tree to do this, make a hole in the ground and cover it when they’re done. Pretty smart don't you think?). But even then, they don’t move very fast.

It’s amazing how an animal that is so sluggish and seems so helpless can survive with no problems. They eat a small amount of food that is just about enough to support their lifestyle of sluggishness and sleep. But then again, don't all living beings get enough food to stay alive? Be it the most dangerous of predators or the slow sloth, (in normal conditions in nature) none will die out of hunger.

It’s another story if there is human intervention, destruction of their natural habitats, or an anomaly in nature. But the rule of the thumb is that all living things get their food that is enough to sustain them, one way or another. These animals get the right food, at the right amount, at the right time and place. That’s something amazing if you ask me. It's too precise to be mere coincidence.

Reflecting on how easy those animals get their provision, the problems of hunger that we face around the world is just beyond comprehension. How did this happen? Everything is readily provided in nature. Perhaps the way we are consuming and exploiting things has taken a toll, and our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world are paying the price for our stupidity.

God has set the balance perfectly. He gives provision to even the weakest of creatures. So when there are amongst His creatures that don't get the provision they need, be sure that it’s most likely our fault (in altering the balance). And God knows best.

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