Walk Like a Penguin

Penguins are fascinating. They are all from the southern hemisphere—all 18 different kinds of penguins. Most live in Antarctica, South America, Southern Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. One group lives up in the Galapagos Islands. Most of us remember the award-winning film, The March of the Penguins, narrated by Morgan Freeman. Those were Emperor Penguins, but the life cycles and dangers are universal to all. The important thing to remember about penguins is not that they do not live anywhere near the Arctic Circle, but that they know how to walk on snow, ice, glaciers, and icebergs. We do not. They also know how to hop out of water onto said iceberg with bare feet. We should not even try. On my trip to Antarctica, we observed Adalie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguin colonies from a respectful distance of a few yards, although a few crossed the path right in front of me while hiking one day.  It amazed me to see how agile and skilled they are in and out of the ocean. 

One lesson that I learned from the penguins was how to walk on frozen water. Even with their short legs, penguins can slip and slide, but they mostly do that for fun—sliding headfirst, like a small missile into the sea. We, with our longer legs, are top heavy. (I’m speaking for myself, of course.) This means our slips and slides are not as much fun, especially that first bounce. Penguins teach us to keep our center of gravity low and beneath us. This means taking small steps, shifting your weight slightly side to side as you walk. Humans tend to walk shifting our weight forward, while waiting for the other leg to catch up with us and go forward even further. It does not take much to get ahead of ourselves. Add a little ice or mud, and we fall. Walking like a penguin might keep you safer in this frigid weather.

When it comes to walking through life, walk in the ways of Jesus. May I suggest a little spiritual exercise to help stretch us for our Christian walk today? First Corinthians 13 is known to us as the Love Chapter in the Bible. (There are other love chapters in the Bible, by the way.) Read chapter 13, substituting the name of Jesus every time the word love or it is used. This is how we live the Christian walk each day.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Walk like a Christian. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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