Grazing and Browsing


Sheep Grazing


I don’t know if you’ve ever wondered about the difference between grazing and browsing. I know I have, and so I looked up the two terms and found that browsing applies to the feeding behavior of animals who eat off shrubs and small trees. You might say they’re selective. Grazers, on the other hand, eat what’s on the ground which is generally grass and other short forms of vegetation. Grazers, by their very nature, can eat too much and completely strip an area of vegetation. Sheep will keep eating until they “founder,” and unless someone intervenes (you don’t want to know what they have to do), the sheep will die. I suppose that’s what you might call too much of a good thing.

Grazing and browsing also applies to the behavior of people in bookstores or waiting rooms where there are books or magazines. Browsers are selective, only reading what is of interest to them, while grazers thoroughly read what is written, determined to wring the last bit of information out of the reading. Depending on the material and our mood and the time available, we may be grazers one time and browsers the next. We also may browse through files on our computers, selecting one or several to spend time with, or to graze, if you will.

I think the spiritual sense is this: God has spread a literal and metaphorical feast before us in this life and the next, and we have a basic choice. We can browse God’s truths, and only choose those that are convenient for or palatable to us. Or we can graze what God has given us, and take it in and continue taking it all in, because, unlike the sheep, we cannot have too much of the goodness of God, and the mercy, forgiveness and love of God are without end. Praise God for giving us the choice to graze, and for insuring that we will never run short of all that the Creator has blessed us with. Amen.


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