Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Committee of Buzzards?

So my daughter’s youth group has been selling pumpkins, and I did the mom thing and volunteered my time. In between customers the other day the three members that were there along with me began to discuss church committees. They have been a main topic of discussion around our parts for the last few weeks. The fact that committee training had been officially set for this weekend was one of the prompting factors for our conversation.

I have no problem with church committees per se. However, like the writer of this document states, communication is the key. Listening is even better. We have to listen to each other in order to communicate in the best possible manner, and in order to move forward. It's also important to remember that a committee is just an arm of a larger body, and they have a responsibility to keep the larger body informed and involved.

There we are… four church members with more or less the same viewpoint towards church committees and committee work in general... when suddenly above us we notice these very large and soaring birds. They flew over us, over the church property and then began to make a large sweeping turn in order to circle back our way. We finally decided the birds in question were buzzards. Around and around they circled, and as they held their pattern more and more birds joined in. It was really amazing and my camera phone does not do the actual event justice. All told there was probably somewhere between 25 and 30 birds.

Having taught Language Arts and vocabulary for awhile I know that groupings of animals have specific names, but had forgotten the exact word for a group of buzzards. One member of our party knew, however, and it just goes to prove God does listen and sometimes wants to give you visual proof He’s in on your conversation.

Later when I got home I located Erwin McManus’s book The Barbarian Way. It is an interesting look at becoming an original, powerful, and untamed Christian. He addresses the words we use for animal groupings:

With insects most of us know that bees are called swarms, and ants are called colonies. Among ocean life, I was aware that whales are pods, and fish are schools. A group of cattle is a herd, birds are flocks, and if you watch Lion King, you know a tribe of lions is a pride. If you grew up in the country, you might know that crows are murders. Maybe the most unnerving one is an ambush of tigers…[and a group of buzzards? Those birds that like to hang around and eat dead flesh….they are called a committee.]

Apparently the committee of buzzards that flew over our church had their act together. They were communicating or else they would not have been able to attract more and more birds, and they would not have been able to maintain their pattern for several minutes.

It would seem that communication is the key....

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