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Lizard & Mantis Babies

Don Miller | Feb. 3. 2020

When a lizard runs along the side of a cement retaining wall and jumps to a patch of sand and keeps zipping along, his tiny brain is monitoring the surface his feet are hitting.  He adjusts pressure with every step. If he puts too much pressure on a foot, the foot will sink in the sand and he will bog down. But he doesn’t.

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Robotic rovers used in disaster relief and Mars missions are easily slowed and overwhelmed when they attempt to travel over difficult and varied surfaces. They aren’t quick enough to adjust pressures and attack angles needed for rapid movement over challenging and quickly changing terrain. Yet a baby lizard the size of one of the digits of your fingers dashes along effortlessly– jumping, running and climbing wildly well!

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When a baby praying mantis makes a herculean one-inch leap from one tiny branch to another, it does a seven-step gymnastic move. Each movement is timed to the thousandths of a second. In one set of movements, the mantis twists its upper torso 37º to the left for 5 thousandths of a second. This is immediately followed by the exact movements of another part of its body to exact degrees for a precise time also. Its tiny brain executes this for all seven movements.

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Malcom Burrows of Cambridge University discovered this in 2015. He became the world’s leading expert in insect kinesthetics (movements). To his astonishment, he found that the tiny baby mantis adjusts each of his leaping twists by microseconds to negotiate a shorter jump of 3/4ths of an inch. To successfully jump and land on branches with leaps of over an inch, the mantis schedules longer times for each gymnastic twist–all being lengthened correctly by microseconds.

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As he continued his research, he began to realize that there are mathematical algorithms (formulas) built into the insect’s DNA that determine the angles of the leaping-twist movements and the exact speed its muscles are to make them happen–and they adjust precisely for different jump lengths!  All so baby manis can make his baby leaps and land just right!

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God intimately knows the timing of baby mantis jumps and the pressures of baby lizard steps. How much more does He understand the precise needs and timings in our lives and the exact amount of extra push certain things need!

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Release long-standing burdens to the Maker of the stars and of the little baby mantis’s and baby lizards. Cast what’s hanging tightly to your heart to Him; He is mindful of you. Then do the next right things being faithful in the important little loves He has just ahead for you.  Know that your timings are in His plans–and they will happen as you are faithful in the very important little things.

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God Himself will make you victoriously shout in the morning as you see the immense wisdom of His choices–both in how He muscles things AND in the wonderfulness of His thoughtful timings!

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My times are in Your hands.” – Psalms 31:15 wow…What a gift!

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