The world-famous San Diego Zoo had its beginning a hundred years ago, October 2, 1916. Dr. Harry Wegeforth drove by Balboa Park at night and heard a lion roar in the local Zoo. This led the doctor to form a consortium of four men to found the Zoological Society of San Diego. The Zoo now occupies 100 acres in prime San Diego real estate and houses 3700 animals of 650 species. More than 700,000 exotic plants grow in its botanical garden. Some three million visitors a year visit the Zoo.
With such success and fame, you could think having a worthy Zoo in the then-small community was an easy sell. You could, if it hadn’t been in San Diego. It wasn’t. Nothing ever is in San Diego. When then-Mayor Pete Wilson pioneered a Trolley line from the Mexican border to downtown San Diego, critics labelled it The Tijuana Trolley. Today the Trolley connects downtown San Diego to all points north, south and east. The problems the San Diego Chargers have getting a new football stadium is simply an extension of San Diego’s refusal to make any big change easy. Many people thought the idea of a real Zoo, especially in the coveted Balboa Park area north of downtown, was a real loser, a bad idea, a pipe dream, an illusion—get the idea?
You don’t have to be a silly worshiper of the environment or a rabid animal lover to appreciate the Zoo. When I had membership I’d go there, find a convenient table and get to my scribbling. The point is, if we have a vision of a goal, don’t let opposition be a reason to abandon it. If as a Christian we feel our effort is Christ-honoring and necessary, we can trust the Holy Spirit to provide the financial success we need. In that trust we can continue to work, when we’d otherwise find an easier way to make a living or a better way to live.