Creation Inspirations: A New View of the World Around You

by Cheryl Pickett
(Michigan, USA)

The world we live in is truly amazing. Not only is it awesome in its beauty and design, but for us as Christians, there are so many opportunities to be reminded about our great God and his love for us. We just need to stop and notice once in a while. This excerpt from Creation Inspirations, a book for kids and families, shows us how we can be inspired by a seemingly ordinary brown bear.

Creation Inspiration: Brown Bear

Let's start with a question-what color is a brown bear? Sound like a trick question? It isn't. Brown bears can be any one of several shades of brown all the way from yellowy beige, reddish brown and almost black.

In North America, there are a few different names for brown bears, but they're still talking about the same species. In Alaska for example, they are called both Alaskan brown bears and Kodiak bears. These names refer to where they live. In the western states of the US and western provinces of Canada, brown bears are known as grizzly bears. The word "grizzled" or "grizzly" means "partly gray" and refers to this group's silver-tipped fur.

It is also important to know that even though brown bears may have nearly black fur, they are not the same species as the American black bear. Three ways to tell the difference between the two are: brown bears have a hump on their back at their shoulders, they have a flat, dish shaped face and they have short ears.

A New View

Did you know that brown bears know a lot about building a home? Each year, they need a new den when it's time to hibernate. Their claws are very strong so they could dig one just about anywhere they wanted to. But they don't; they search for and build in areas that meet special "bear building codes".

When they look for a den site, they look for a place where the ground is solid instead of crumbly, and where there's rocks or a hollow tree to give extra protection during bad weather. In northern climates, they'll also try to find areas where the ground won't freeze too deep.

Pretty smart, right? If you were going to build a house, you'd probably look for a place to build that had many of those same characteristics.

In the Bible, God tells us that when we listen to and apply His "code" to our lives, it is like choosing a solid place to build a house. If we build our lives on a strong foundation (God's word), we won't fall apart when we are hit by the storms and troubles of life.

The next time you see a brown bear:
Remember what smart builders they are and how we also need to be wise as we build our lives with God's word as our strong foundation.

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