Sunday, July 28, 2019

Lessons from Animals: Worthy Companions

When I was a child, I remember a wonderful book about an imaginary bird town named Wington and the birds who lived there. The stories used the lives of those birds to teach Christian principles of the life of the believer. The book, originally published in 1948, but still available today, is entitled Bird Life in Wington by John Calvin Reid.  

We can learn a lot from our feathered and furred friends.
I was reminded of that book when I thought about these visitors to our hay field yesterday.    
I'd first seen them floating on the pond like a veritable armada. As we drove around, checking on the hay field, we saw that they had left the pond and congregated on land. As we drove slowly closer and by the group, I was sad to see one of them was disabled by a club foot, perhaps from an encounter with a hungry turtle on the pond.

There were at least 21 of these Canada Geese, and they moved out of what they perceived to be harm's way as we passed in the truck. One or two appeared to have the job of guard, and they stretched down their wings in a defensive stance. There was no panic, and no mass flight. Rather they just stayed together and moved further into the field as a group.  

I looked up what a group of such geese is called...and the dictionary said it was a gaggle (if they were on land). I wasn't sure what "gaggle" really meant, so again I looked it up and, in addition to a group of at least three geese on land, it also means, "a disorderly or noisy group of people."
And now for the lesson learned from those geese visitors--Do I want to be part of the disorderly, noisy mass or do I want to be a worthy companion to my fellow believers and non-believers with whom I spend my time?

What I personally choose to do in front of those around me can impact my companions for better or for worse.
Likewise, I can also  be influenced by those I choose to have around me for the good or for the bad. 
Both are my choice.
Proverbs 13:20 says:
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

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