We are not so different than an octopus.
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I love this picture of an octopus, my daughter took, at the Denver Aquarium. I never expected to see one playing with a giant hamster ball, and I am thankful there is no hamster in it. Octopus are versatile animals that adapt well to different environments. Their parents don’t stick around to teach them anything, but they figure out clever means of survival on their own. Octopus do not have internal or external skeletons, which allows them to squish into small tight spaces. However, when their soft body makes them feel vulnerable they are known to find large shells, which they use like armor.
We humans are not necessarily so different from octopuses. They are good at self-protection using camouflage, and changing colors like a chameleon. The can also shoot out black ink to mask their escape like any good magician. One of their best defenses is to quickly run away. As I think about their self-protective measures I can easily see how I use the same maneuvers. I might not change colors, but I frequently try to just blend in with the crowd. Rather than black ink I might shoot out deflective words to hide behind, and I know one of my best defenses against sin is to flee from it.
We also are given armor to protect us from the predator.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:10-13 New International Version
Thankfully we don’t have to search as hard as the octopus to discover and implement our God-given armor. The Lord gives us everything we need to stand our ground so we have more time for fun and to play ball!
Text copyright Richelle Hecker
Photo copyright Victoria Hecker