Bird Watching & Anxiety
Has it ever seemed a bit odd to you that, according to Jesus, a cure (the cure?) for worry and anxiety is to go bird watching?
“Consider the birds” Jesus says. The word “consider” literally means “to process information by giving consideration to” something.
Yeah. In the middle of a warning against anxiety and worry, Jesus admonishes His listeners to “process information by giving consideration to” . . . Birds.
The theological instruction Jesus has for worry is to think about birds. (See Matthew 6:25-27)
If you think about this – it’s brilliant. It should be of no surprise, but Jesus’ prescription for worry is so, so good.
Where can you go to get away from birds? You can’t. They’re everywhere. Literally, everywhere. You see them on a walk. You see them on a drive. You see them out of your window. You see them going to the mailbox. You see them walking in your back door after work. You see them when you grill. You see them when you walk into the store. You see them walking into the hospital. You see them walking to the cemetery. You see them outside your office window. You see them at the beach. You see them at your attorney’s office. You see them outside, in the middle of an argument. You see them when you are walking around, talking on your cell phone. You cannot get away from the presence of birds.
Similarly, you cannot get away from the sound of birds. Birds love to make their presence known. They love to sing. They love to talk to each other. They love to blast the sky with the strength of their lungs. Birds can bust through the sound of your AirPods. Birds can interrupt a conversation. Birds can produce a song that makes the radio hush.
Birds are, quite literally, everywhere.
And this is by design. The Creator and Sustainer of all things ensures us that birds are everywhere because that is His cure for anxiety and worry. Consider the birds.
How is that? Well think about it. Or, better yet, consider this. . .
Birds are completely and totally and abundantly provided for. A bird does not need nor want. Need a worm for breakfast? They’re everywhere! Need a twig for a nest? Take your pick! Need seed for a snack? Old Man Johnson just refilled his feeder. Need some water? Would you look at that! There is a puddle from last night’s rain!
There is nothing – absolutely nothing – a bird doesn’t not have that he/she needs.
And get this: mankind is of infinite more worth to God than birds. A bird isn’t worth much at all in the grand scheme of things. God didn’t send His Son to die for birds. And yet. . .
He makes sure birds have everything they need to flourish and thrive.
If God is going to take care of the birds – and all of their needs – don’t you think that He will take care of you?
Worried? Anxious? Fearful? Afraid? Here’s your theological instruction for today: Turn off your phone. Go outside for at least 10 minutes. Find a bird. Watch. Consider.
And if you’re super spiritual and really want to work on your worry, then do this: Grab your wallet. Get in your car. Purchase a bird feeder and seed. Install in your yard. Grab a chair. Sit. Watch. Consider.
That’s it for now. I’m starting to worry about my day and I hear a beautiful song outside. I better go consider for a bit.