A Word to the Wise: We live in a wonderful world

By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
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It?s been quite the thoughtful day on at least three accounts. First our church had a picnic at the park. More than 100 people gathered together to sing, pray, hear the Bible, eat and play. As I looked over the groups, I saw all sorts of races represented (at least six). Seeing various groups gather as one reminded me of our differences and also of our commonalities. For the Christian, our common ground is Jesus. Outsiders and non-members also came by, underscoring a commonality with the human race. I felt a renewed awareness of connection with the human race and with the church. I looked around and felt thankful. Then our grandkids and their family met us at the Sacramento Zoo. Even though it was a hot afternoon, many animals hung out for observation and interaction. My favorites are always the chimpanzees and orangutans. Perhaps this is because I like acting like them. I felt a renewed awareness of connection with planet earth and its nonhuman inhabitants. I looked out and felt thankful. Back in college in Animal Behavior class, the teacher said showing your teeth, eyes and arched eyebrows is a challenge to animals. I tried it again, but it didn?t work today. Maybe it was too hot. Once back in a zoo in North Carolina, I got the entire cage riled up without saying a word, just gritting and arching. Then in the evening an eerie and early darkness came over the sky as we witnessed a solar eclipse. My neighbor George let me borrow a welder?s mask to see it. There was the sun, with a big chunk bit out of it. There was nothing any of us could do to cause it or prevent it. All we could do was stand back and admire the wonder. I felt a renewed awareness of our fleeting helplessness on this hurtling planet. I looked up and felt thankful. We arrive, we live, and we die. And how is the world better for it? What positive thing did I bring to the show that I can leave behind? It was just a simple day with simple activities and yet each of them was profound in its own way. And now this day ends. The park is closed, the zoo animals have no one staring at them anymore and the moon has moved past the sun as the sun has now set. Life goes on. Reach Tom Rupp at