I feel like my life is passing before me. Some days go by so fast, I don’t really get to enjoy them before they’re over. Seasons come and go in an instant. Just yesterday I was planning my trip to Arizona……. Oh wait, that was in 2010! If only I could slow my life down to a snail’s pace!
Now a snail has a different perspective on life. Everything is done slowly and deliberately. According to snail-world.com, at top speed, snails will only move at about 50 yards (or 1800 inches) per hour, half the length of a football field. So assuming a snail is 1 inch long, it will move the length of its body 1800 times in one hour. While that doesn’t sound very fast, it’s actually quite an achievement for an animal of that size.
Most land snails have two set of tentacles, the upper ones carry the eyes, while the lower ones have the olfactory organs, used to smell.
A snail’s shell forms a logarithmic spiral. Most snail shells are right-handed or dextral in coiling, meaning that if the shell is held with the apex (the tip, or the juvenile whorls) pointing towards the observer, the spiral proceeds in a clockwise direction from the apex to the opening.(Wikipedia – Land Snail)
Snail with a rightwardly spiraling shell
Sinistral (left-handed) species of snail from western India
I know as far as gardening is concerned, snails can be pests. They can be very destructive to flowers and certain vegetables. But do you realize how cool this is? A logarithmic spiral?! Talk about intricacies in nature! The same pattern is seen in cyclones, certain galaxies (like The Milky Way), and the nautilus shell. Please click on the link and check out other interesting facts about logarithmic spirals.(Wikipedia – Logarithmic Spiral)
I took these pictures of some snails in my back yard last fall. I was impressed with the veins that were visible as the light shone through their shells. They are actually beautiful creatures when you look at them closely.
So here’s an interesting piece of data: Depending on which version you read, the entire Bible only uses the word slow or a derivative of it 18-22 times. Of those, 9 are in reference to God who is slow to anger. The others are generally referring to a good quality about a person; for example, a person who is slow to speak is considered wise.
In stark contrast, the word quickly is used 69 times, almost always in reference to man, and frequently used in a negative context describing his penchant for sin.
Hmmmm…………. Is there a connection here? One of the slowest and lowliest creatures on the face of the earth has something in common with God that man, who considers himself the apex of creation, does not. Maybe being slow isn’t such a curse after all…….
Psalm 103:8 – NIV
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
Today’s mug is raised to the snails of the world. May we learn some wisdom from their slow and steady pace!