A Lesson From Flipper

From September 19, 1964, to April 15, 1967 I would take my spot in front of the TV to watch a favorite show of mine.  The star of the show was a bottle nosed dolphin called Flipper.  I began to reminisce about this show after reading about dolphins in Cape Cod.   Annually about 38 dolphins will beach themselves, but the count this year is already up to 160.

For dolphin lovers this is a real tragedy and a perplexing situation.  It’s hard to understand how a dolphin can get beached when finely tuned sonar is a part of the species DNA.   How many other mammals can tell the difference between a BB gun pellet and a kernel of corn from a distance of 50 feet?

A dolphin uses his active sonar to emit sounds and then waits for the sounds to bounce off other objects and return.  This technique allows a dolphin to interpret sounds and to detect the underwater location of an item.   Because bodies of water can be too murky for sight, the sonar of the dolphins is advantageous to them, and sound actually travels more quickly underwater than it does in air.

Some of the locals in Cape Cod believe part of the problem with the dolphins is the shape of the harbor.  Dolphins are social creatures and they have a tendency to school and to follow each other.  If they are too far into the harbor when the tide goes out, they get stranded.

I’m certainly no marine biologist, but I wonder if the dolphins get distracted to the point that they do not listen to their sonar.  This brings to me the often repeated Scripture:   He that hath an ear, let him hear  . . .

There are times that we fail to hear because we simply choose not to, and there are other times that we are too distracted.  This distraction can be of our own making or it can be due to noise pollution.  Research indicates that too much noise can be detrimental to our health leading to sleep deprivation, hypertension, heart problems, and the onset of psychological symptoms.

To make sure our sonar is working, we need to tune the world out and tune in to God.  This principle is stated several times in the Psalms.  David fined-tuned his sonar by seeking God early in the morning  (Psalm 61,62,63).

Here’s a thought to keep you thinking.  Why did God give us two ears and one mouth?  Could it be that we are to listen more to Him and speak less of our self?

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