“1,000 CRANES & A DINOSAUR” – August 22

August 22, 2013

““…Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”  1 Timothy 4:7b-8

Our little county fair has come and gone.  It is our signal that the end of summer lurks around the corner.  Our fair has retained its small country feel, being comprised of barns filled with 4-H and FFA animals, exhibits from names that I recognize of art, crafts, food, produce, businesses, a rodeo with local cowboys, and of course lots of fair food.

This quaint nature has a tenuous feeling as if it is in danger of being swept into the annals of history.  A year ago, I had walked through the Arts and Craft building to peruse the exhibits and was disappointed in the meager showing.  “More people should be entering exhibits”, was my thought.  My realization was that I had never entered anything in the fair.

Therefore, I decided that I would make something to enter.  This was daunting for someone who has never considered himself artistic or crafty.  As a result, I did not tell anyone what I had in mind.  I felt that it was likely that I would fail so I did not want any expectations.  My goal was simply to make something interesting that would occupy some space, without being an embarrassment.

DSC_0204My entry in the fair was “1,000 Cranes and a Dinosaur”.  I folded origami cranes during meetings and telephone calls for months.  My daughter and I suspended them with fishing line from a light fixture grate for three evenings prior to the fair.  For added enjoyment, I hid one origami dinosaur, same color and size as the cranes, amidst the flock.

My hope was for a blue ribbon.  Imagine my surprise, when I actually won “Best in Show”?

The response to my little foray into the arts and craft world has been overwhelmingly positive.  However, there have been some interesting responses.  A few people questioned why I  would spend so much time folding cranes as if I had wasted my efforts.  Others speculated that I must have been really been bored.  I was even told that it was weird.

DSC_0028Often, the reasons for why we do what we do will never get told.  I folded all the cranes from paper that had been thrown in my office’s recycle bin.  As I folded those cranes, I was reminded how Christ saves us from destruction and transforms us into a new creation.  I suspended the cranes to appear as if they were flying up, which reminded me of our progressive sanctification.  The dinosaur was a reminder to me of the Spirit of God, who is with us on our journey, sometimes hard to find, and some think is a myth or a creation from a bygone era.

Those are some of the thoughts that I had in my little creation that the majority of those who saw it will never know.  What is important is that I know the reasons why I did what I did.

1081742_10201037349409912_986638358_nWe are encouraged to train ourselves for godliness.  Godliness will be exhibited to others.  The response to our godliness will not be understood by everyone.  Often, you will never get the opportunity to explain why you do what you do or why you don’t do other things.  The reaction of some will be positive but there probably will be some that are negative without understanding your intentions.

The important aspect for all of us is that we understand why we are training ourselves in godliness.  We are training ourselves in godliness for the value of the promise it holds in this present life and also for the life to come.

Let’s be intentional about our spiritual training with the purpose of winning “Best in Show” from the only judge who matters, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Lord, you know how easily I am distracted from my training.  You know how I often forget why I am doing what I am doing.  You know how often I value other people’s opinion too much.  Forgive me for losing sight of my purpose and not being intentional in my life.  Lord, I need your help in my spiritual training.  I know the value that you give through godliness.  I desire all that you have promised.  I want my faith to be on display for your glory.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.


  1. Just amazing! My kids recently read “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” and really enjoyed seeing these pictures and hearing the meaning behind it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. JD … Man, this is a great post, great story! The metaphors you have going on are very motivating for me to keep trying to be a better writer …. AND to keep my eyes on Jesus. I really think Christ is an “outside-the-box” Lord. And this post is about you being outside the box. I guess I was in the mood to be encouraged … Been a tough season … but your words are so good. T

  3. Sound like a great idea…congrats on the reward. Lord bless you.

  4. P.S. I wish you would do a full view image so we could try to locate the dino!

  5. Splendid work. I imagine the Lord smiled big on knowing the rationales for the display. Without knowing it, those who viewed and voted for your ‘craft’ were touched by the very presence of God in what you did for His glory. Blessings, JD. I have a sister-in-law who enters crafts and canned goods every year at her local fair. Brings her great enjoyment and others much blessing!

  6. We certainly can be distracted in our training. Satan loves to tie our shoelaces together and cause us to fall. Absolutely, Jesus is the only judge that matters. And if we were comparing ourselves to players in a play, we are only playing for an audience of one.

  7. My goodness, how absolutely beautiful!!

  8. Awesome piece of art! I also like that you shared the meaning behind it. Congratulations on Best of Show! I listened very carefully at what you said about how we seek others’ opinions so much. We are wanting to be shown that we are accepted, that we are good enough sometimes. I struggle with that a lot as I am sure a whole lot of others do as well. I am going to write down your comment about winning “Best in Show” from our Savior. Its a great reminder and encouragement.

  9. Reblogged this on thinkinaboutjesus and commented:
    This is an awesome post, I hope you like it.

  10. Amen, Amen & Amen!!! I am going to reblog this, I love it! Congratulations on winning Best in Show!! 🙂

  11. Great. very good, I like it!

  12. That is fantastic! I went to our county fair just yesterday and shame on me, I didn’t even go check out the exhibits.

  13. Very clever!

  14. Great work! And even better is the personal meaning for you behind all the efforts.

  15. I think your artwork looks awesome!

    • Ditto to what Kelly said 😉

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