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In the book A View From the Zoo, Gary Richmond tells about the birth of a giraffe:

The first thing top emerge are the baby giraffe's front hooves and head. A few minutes later, the little newborn is hurled forth, falls ten feet, and lands on its back.

Within seconds, he rolls to an upright position with his legs tucked under his body. And from this position he considers the world for the first time and shakes off the last remains of the birthing fluid from his eyes and ears.

The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a quick look. Then she positions herself directly over her calf. She waits about a minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing...She swings her long leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent sprawling head over heels.

When it doesn't get up, the violent process is repeated over and over again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired, the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts...Finally the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs.

Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing...she kicks it off its feet again. Why? She wants it to remember how it got up. In the wild, baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible to stay with the herd where there is safety. Lions, hyenas, leopards and other predators all enjoy eating young giraffes, and they'd get it too if the mother didn't teach her calf to get up quickly and get with it.

As this baby giraffe found out LIFE CAN BE TOUGH...and all of us face the inevitable time when life just plain gets difficult. When we're getting kicked down over and over, we can just decide to stay down, or we can learn to get up quickly, so we can avoid an even worse fate.

(From a sermon by Gregory McDonald Sr., When the Well Runs Dry, 02/10/2010)

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