“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 (ESV)
While meditating on the Lord my attention was called by a flock of crows scanning the grass outside my window.
Immediately, my captivated mind flipped from a state of focused meditation on the Lord, to a state of submissive receptivity called contemplation, in which the devotee submissively observes whatever enters his or her scope of vision without entertaining any thoughts of prejudice, judgement or formation of opinions. In other words, contemplation is a state of surrendered “listening” to whatever lessons the LORD desires to teach us.
Although the veil between meditation and contemplation is very thin, the experienced “prayer-enthusiast” will attest that God, being a Person who desires to converse with us, listens to our prayers and answers them in a myriad of ways. Oftentimes, the Divine lessons transcend Words in such a way, that they can only be communicated and understood through simple, experiential scenarios.
When God speaks, He not only communicates through words…He communications through actions that can be perceived and understood through the senses.–jcr
As I was observing the ravens, I began to notice that whenever a flock is scanning the grass for insects, that each raven works within its own invisible circumference.
When a crow finds a worm on the ground, unlike other birds who rush to swallow the worm, it pulls it out and lays it on the grass, as if measuring it. Then, it pecks it with it’s beak and lays aside two or three pieces. The crow inspects the leftovers as if making sure it only took its’ own fair share, and then turns to its self-apportioned pieces to eat them.
Afterward, each raven returns to his labors of “finding and seeking,” while leaving the rest of the worm untouched. If he finds another worm within its perimeter, the raven will pull it and repeat the same cycle. If it cannot find any more worms at the time the flock moves, the raven will leave behind its juicy findings and move to another hunting spot.
I observed that the reason for this is because each crow is not merely thinking about feeding itself, but that its’ feathered friends would also have plenty to eat.
When the next raven comes to the perimeter of the previous bird, it finds the remaining worm on the grass and pecks a few self-apportioned pieces while leaving some behind. And the cycle repeats itself almost endlessly…
I was able to understand how this concern can also be applicable to the Christian Community. So many go to church every Sunday expecting something, without ever even thinking of contributing in some fashion so that others might benefit.
Lord Jesus taught us “that it is better to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
The whole created order knows that it is better to give than to receive. Nothing exists (whether plant or animal) without ever contributing something for the benefit of each one’s perspective community. Whoever knows how to share without attachment is on his or her way to spiritual maturity.
No doubt that this lesson was also given to Lord Jesus by the Father, as he observed the Divine’s highest standards expressed through the whole created order. Yes, even through those ugly, black-feathered and annoyingly graspy-voiced crows. (Luke 12:24)