6 a.m. was an early start after a late night. It was like all the day’s rest was immediately erased as we loaded up the van to head towards Chicago. I reckon the Shedd Aquarium receives this much love every day it’s open. The day was dedicated to looking at fish from all over the world, andit started early!
Higgins Lake to Chicago, Illinois. 5 hour trek. Plus we gain an hour in the time change. The aquarium opens at 9 a.m. We got there shortly after 10 a.m. And shredded the Shedd! It was surreal to experience the Shedd as an adult. The last time I was there was when my grandparents lived in Chicago. That seems like a lifetime ago.
It’s kind of silly to think about this, but it felt like the Lord was washing us from the day before in the waters of the aquarium. Each exhibit brought a new level of excitement and intrigue. We did a good job spreading out the major attractions, in hopes of being entertained for as long as possible. The whole time, my mind couldn’t comprehend how huge the Lord is! I mean, in creation He made each of these species of fish. There are thousands of breeds all around the aquarium, each with its own distinct purpose within the ecosystems they inhabit. The authority that the Father has given us over these animals is unimaginable. From the playfulness of the otters to the mobility of the sharks to the transparency of the jellyfish, each animal is set apart and plays a role. It was a triumphant declaration of how much Abba cares for us. It brought me into a place of worship and contemplation about Imago Dei, being created in the image of God.
A mere five hours later, we exited the aquarium, both in awe of creation and exhausted by walking around the exhibits on only a couple hours of sleep. We walked over to the park connecting some of Chicago’s finest attractions and laid in the shadow of the Chicago Skyline. It brought everything into perspective. We are image bearers, made to create just like the Creator. And so as I gazed upon man’s creation, the hundreds of skyscrapers, there was no comparing which work was greater between the fish and the buildings, but the creativity written on the skyline point to a higher creator.
The time had come for us to load back into the van to drive up to Evanston where we would meet the evening’s host, see the Baha’i Temple, eat Giordano’s Pizza and enjoy an evening of pub trivia; an eclectic mini-journey. The temple was absolutely beautiful. The religion is intriguing. A people group that believe all major world religions point back towards one god. A monotheistic declaration stating each world religion is the specific way that each world culture of origin needed to receive their origin story. Very universal! My only pushback is that the gospel draws people closer to a loving Father, a story of redemption and resurrection. It is unparalleled truth! Jesus is better!
Now let’s move on to a more important topic: pizza! There are millions of pizza establishments all over the world. Throughout the United States you have your New York Style, Chicago Style, California Style, St. Louis Style, Brick-ovens, microwaves and Lunchables. The versatility of the pizza makes it every kid’s favorite meal and eases feeding the masses. This might sound stupid, but I believe pizza is a food that could aid in world peace! Most people subscribe to having only one love amongst the hundreds of choices. I would like to use this space to laugh in the faces of people that say one style of pizza is best. You are limiting the brilliance. Don’t limit the brilliance. Instead adore the piece of pizza that you have in your hand and praise Jesus for how amazing it tastes. Then take a moment to use it as a grid for how amazing food is going to be in heaven! Giordano’s pizza is exquisite, go try some.
Following our meal, we enjoyed a trip on The L, and landed at Trivia Night in Friar Tuck’s Pub. For first timers we did halfway decently. We took 7th place out of 12 teams. My lack of a competitive nature allowed me to enjoy the game to the fullest. And good company. We jumped in an uber and made it back to our one-night residence to rest once again.