You’ve heard it before, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” Some things, however, are just ugly from any angle.
The eel-like hagfish – so named for its ugly appearance – has no eyes, teeth or backbone. And when attacked, its only defense is slime secreted by up to 200 slime glands that line its flanks. Here’s the thing. The hagfish will typically release less than a teaspoon of gunk but once in the water, in less than half a second, that small amount will expand by 10,000 times, creating enough slime to fill a 5-gallon bucket.
Here’s the mystery. The protein threads which give the slime cohesion are each one-100th the width of a human hair but can stretch up to six inches. And within the slime glands, each thread is coiled like a ball of yarn within its own tiny cell. That’s like stuffing a strand of Christmas lights 3,281 feet long into a shoebox without a single knot or tangle. Science has yet to determine how the hagfish achieves this miracle of packaging. In light of God’s incredible design maybe the hagfish isn’t so ugly after all!
Ray Inman wrote, “A great teacher never strives to explain his vision—he simply invites you to stand beside him and see for yourself.”
Summer is the only season that for me has always had two ending dates. There is the official date in September when summer bows out to autumn’s glory but then there is the unofficial date when our area schools begin. Our Monroe County children and youth have already been in class for a couple of weeks and this week IU and Ivy Tech begin in earnest. Education is not just an opportunity; it is a privilege. I have had some great teachers in my life who didn’t just share their knowledge, but who taught me how to learn and to dream for the future. Most teachers I know are truly devoted to developing a passion for life-long learning. It isn’t an easy job and often goes unappreciated. So, this week take time to thank a teacher – they are shaping the lives of others. And if you’re a teacher, remember these words from the book of Proverbs, “Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser.”
The impact of historical events is not always determined by length of time. In the 14th and 15th centuries England and France engaged in what is remembered as the Hundred Years War. It took 4,000 Egyptian laborers 20 years to build the Great Pyramid. Gutzon Borglum and his granite masons labored 14 years to complete the carving of four presidential faces known as Mount Rushmore.
Other historical events are measured in moments not years. The Boston Tea Party lasted 3 hours; the bombing of Pearl Harbor which catapulted American into WW 2 was over in 2 hours; the first of the twin towers in New York city collapsed after only 56 minutes on 9/11; Custer’s tragic defeat in the battle of the Little Big Horn took only 30 min; the burning of the Hindenburg – 2 min 20 seconds; and the Wright Brothers first flight – a mere 12 seconds. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Don’t measure the accomplishments of your life in years but in minutes. Live each day to the fullest realizing that every moment is a gift from God.