You might need to chew on that title for awhile, while you mull over what I meant by it. My good buddy, Dr. John Scott Herrington, made this statement (the title) while we were on a trip as he looked out over a field where a herd of cows were grazing. It was hysterical at the time, but I guess you had to be there. It got me thinking though. As cows stand there in the field, chewing their cud, they give the false impression of being deep thinkers. They have this goofy look on their face, as their jaws just chew and chew. When in reality, we all know cows aren’t the brightest animals on the farm.
Looks can be deceiving. I agreed with my good friend, that indeed, it would be better to be a human than a cow. But why? Where is God more glorified? Is God more glorified in a creature made with two stomachs, and any time the creature wants to can just cough up a cud of food to ruminate on again? Or is God more glorified in a higher thinking creature who constantly argues with the Creator about what is best for them in life? Hmmmm. It’s a puzzle right?
It also made me think of animals in general, and birds in particular. Sparrows, in fact, came to mind as I pondered what I might learn from this simple observation. This took me to a story some may remember from Sunday school, where Jesus was teaching His student followers the principles of discipleship. Specifically Jesus was helping them understand the cure for anxiety. Why would Jesus need to teach his disciples this lesson? Because what human creatures do is argue with the Creator about what’s best for them in life, and when they don’t get the answer they want, they tend to worry and become anxious. The disciples suffered from this malady just as the rest of us do.
Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
We do well to realize that Jesus speaks directly to us today in these commands. Do you see the specific commands here? “So do not fear… do not be worried about your life.” Well, that’s easy to do right? Humans seem to have this innate capability to pretend they are cows. We spiritually and emotionally cough up into our hearts and minds those things we like to worry about or anxiously try to fix about our lives. We ruminate over and over about the “what-ifs” of life, trying to work out a response to every possible permutation, never comprehending that we aren’t wired for this knowledge. Only God knows every possible permutation, and He has each of them covered.
Jesus says lilies in the field give God more glory than people do sometime.
And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Humans were created to think on a level far above flowers, birds, and cows. We are capable of recognizing just how much God loves us on a personal level, and how He engineered a way for us to be in relationship with Him personally. God gave us the highest thinking brain available among all the species of the planet. Yet, we abuse this great gift by ruminating about ourselves, rather than contemplating how better to walk with God and bring Him glory.
I’m glad I’m not a cow, a bird, or a flower. However, I want to come to the place where I, as God’s highest creation, bring Him greater glory than all the animals or vegetation of the planet. They do so by instinct. I bring Him greater glory when I choose to trust in His provision and direction, and live for Him instead of myself. Verse 33 speaks for itself.