The Cows are Out!


There is nothing like this rally call to get my kids out of bed on summer day then “the cows are out!”  They know the drill. We have been here before. We have about 20 acres and our neighbors over the years have put their hobby angus and 4H calves in our backyard.  It’s a call to arms, or rather tennis shoes and 4 wheelers. Still in pj’s we begin the slide into the most maddening thing I’ve ever encountered.  Nothing like herding heifers and baby calves to send the three of us into a spiral of yelling, tears and rising tempers. It is not pretty.  You will not find us at our best-chasing cows.

Hollering, pointing and chastising each other as we try and force our will on these animals whom are clearly not phased by us mere humans and not the least bit interested in going through “that” gate.  They mock us while they continue to graze.

Mamas finally returned to pasture only for the baby to squeak by in a panic, zipping back and forth along the fence row, trotting at a mach 10 down the road and leaping the neighbors fence. Emotions again escalate and soon we all become the bossy expert when it’s obvious that is the furthest thing from the truth. None of us know what we are doing.

My frustration mounts as I notice evidence of their feast in my yard as they leave their larger than dinner plate cow pies behind, left to adorn my lawn for many seasons to come.  Never one cow, these unpredictable large animals  come in a herd size inconvenience, leaving me flustered and intimated.

Kind of like our problems.  

Problems greet us when we are all comfortable and they too don’t always bring out the best in us. We scuddle around trying to shuffle our problems into solutions only to find them squeak out another way. We become consumed with anxiety and worry.  Tempers flair and stress rises. We try to control variables and people to ensure we never see that problem again. Sometimes our solutions seem good but they are ineffective. Much like the 4 FOOT chain Caleb wrapped around the gate post to ensure the cows never get out again only to be shown later that was a waste of time as the cows are slipping out in between fence and shed.

As the saying goes- cow pies happen.

Christ said in this world we would have problems. The good news is that He is there to work the problem with us. When I can turn it over to him-things don’t usually descend into chaos. Christ teaches that unless we link arms with him, we can do nothing. Apart from him we are like a branch cut from tree-disconnected from our life source. (John 15:5-6)  

Scripture can seem trite-stale answers for a difficult life. Can it really be that easy? Remain in Christ?  It’s not. There is a saying that when we plan, God laughs. Well I think when I blog -God moves. I have had this blog written for 2 months and God decided to show me I have a lot to learn about managing problems.  I have a hard time letting go. I’m afraid that if I’m not stressing or working the problem in my head it will get worse.  But usually the only thing that gets worse is my mood.   From a practical sense how to you hand something off to Christ? How do I remain in Him?  Sometimes it’s writing the problem down and promising myself I’ll come back to it after some time-leaving it to God.  Surprisingly solutions can present themselves or resolve on their own.  

The most effective though is prayer. The mental space prayer provides gives perspective to cope and wisdom to act.  It works for the little problems and the big ones.  Usually, I have found the God doesn’t change the problems, but He changes me.  I may realize my problem is not a big deal, or I gain peace to implement a difficult solution. It’s really fun when God gives me a spark to solve something that stumps me. I especially appreciate it this when I can’t balance my books after an hour of trying to find the missing money-yes I pray about that! 

So for the critics that think they can work their problems on their own, I will say this..

When the cows are out and I’m working it by myself it doesn’t go well. However when my farm raised hubby comes home and stands in the road and raises his long arms up and  gently shuffles his gait easily persuading the black beasts to retreat, I don’t question it-I’m relieved to let the master work.  I encourage you to let the master work in your life-any other way is halfbaked!