I think it was my aunt that asked us when Erin and I were closer to “newly married” than we are now “What is your favourite animal?”
“Tiger!” I said.
“Golden Retriever!” She said.
“Now what are your three favourite things about that animal?”
Erin: “They’re loyal, easy to train, and good with kids!”
Corey: “They’re focused, powerful, and you don’t see them coming until it’s too late!”
Now before the spoiler alert, just take a moment and think of your favourite animal and three reason why…
I’ll wait while you think. Just want to give you a minute here…
Whoever asked us the questions then brought the surprise:
“Those are your three favourite things about yourself:)”
I’ve done this same fun exercise dozens of times since then and it’s both funny and uncannily accurate in most people.
My buddy Shawn described himself (a cheetah) as “fast and sexy!”
My brother Ryan said he liked sharks (?) and then something alarming about “feeding frenzy” or “blood bath” or “vicious”, which could be argued is true if you’ve every played Monopoly against him. One time I had piles of property but no complete set of anything and offered him four great pieces just to complete one of my sets.
“No” he said, eyes dulled over with no human compassion.
I forgave him but never played Monopoly with him again. I mean seriously Ryan!!
…said the guy who is super competitive…
I’ve heard hilarious descriptions about cats “having cute faces” to chipmunks “because they stuff food into their cheeks”.
It’s funny that I’ve never heard one describe themselves as fainting goats or some obviously flawed animal. No one seems to have favourite attributes that could be seen as weak.
“My favourite animal is a fainting goat because they are at the bottom of the food chain, they panic, and they look like idiots” said no one ever.
Craig Groschel: “We might impress people with our strengths, but we connect with people through our weaknesses.”
I would much rather connect through my strengths:)
I don’t preach that much on this particular platform but I thought I would share a Sunday school lesson with you about what God’s favourite animals might be:
Let me argue that people are his favourite creation (yes I firmly believe it takes the least amount of faith to believe in a Creator V a giant purposeless accident) (But… SCIENCE!!!! One should really resource The Problem of God by Mark Clark), but it could also be argued that the bible describes people as sheep more often than tigers.
I would prefer God thinking of me as a tiger.
I used to think King David described himself as a sheep (“The Lord is my Shepherd..”) because sheep are cute and fuzzy and loyal, or something, until the week I worked on a farm and was a shepherd.
Now I know the truth: Sheep are idiots. AND they’re fast at being idiots.
I watched the shepherd lady call them to the field for lunch and call them back to the pen effortlessly. When the family drove away on vacation and I tried my hand at sheepherding I had some bad luck. I opened the gate and said something like “Lunch time!”.
A couple of sheep looked up and thought “Who’s this guy?”, then resumed whatever sheep do in a pen.
I shrugged my shoulders and herded them out of there. Now they’re standing in the area in front of the pen milling around stupidly while I’m raising my voice “Guys! It’s lunch time! Like every day of the year at the same time!!!”
I chased them in the direction of the field. One of them finally realized what was happening and struck out for the buffet, the rest followed.
An hour later I hollered something incoherent but encouraging from the farm yard in the hopes that they would just all trot back like they did when the shepherd was there.
They didn’t even look up.
“Stupid sheep! Fine!!” I ran out to vainly attempt to chase them back.
#farmtruths – Chasing animals OUT of a pen is much easier than chasing them back in.
I did my best to run a semi circle around them to get them moving in the general direction of home but they kept blinking and jumping around as if they’ve been replaced with sheep that hadn’t done this a million times in the same field!! Infuriating! Luckily the farm dog came out to help me.
“Good!” I thought. “Maybe he’s a sheep dog?”
He wasn’t. He was a mix between a few different dog breed and a whole lot of stupid. He ran right through the epicentre of the sheep barking like the field was on fire.
The sheep ran for it.
…until one genius decided the best thing to do would be to attempt running through a barbed wire fence at full speed…
The rest followed.
As I watched the entire flock do the dumbest thing it possibly could in perfect unity I had a revelation about God’s favourite creatures:
He’s kind to us not because we’re geniuses, but because it’s who he is.
I had a laugh, lowered my expectations of myself a little and one day became a pastor (shepherd) because God has a sense of humour too.