On my most recent trip back home to Texas I stopped to photo these longhorns.
Written eyewitness accounts of the 1850s and later talk about these animals, rangy and acclimated to hard living on the grasses of Texas and bugs that infest almost everything. They were wild, territorial, and not the most hospitable to the thought of being roped and pulled from the brush they called home.
My experience with this particular steer proved the reports of their cantankerous nature to be true. Notice the particular focus of attention this outfit has on me?
My original idea was to get up to the fence and take a few shots with my digital camera as they grazed. This one turned around and decided to come over and check me out.
I’ve been around cattle and didn’t really think there was anything wrong as it came over. In fact, I thought it was great to get a couple of real close-ups. The problem was that when he got to the fence, he decided to use that spread of horns to push on the fence so he could get a closer look at me.
I know enough about cattle to know that a wire fence is just a suggestion as to where the pasture is if the bovine decides it is in his way. And this one was acting like the fence that separated us was nothing more than an irritation. I decided to retreat.
As I sat in my car and watched this fellow rejoin his compatriots, I wondered about having to drive a herd from Texas to Sedalia, MO. I’ve pushed a few head, but nothing as malevolent looking as a bunch of unhappy beeves with a spread of horns approaching six and seven feet or more.
We probably don’t know what we are getting into when we let press releases determine our plans. Advertisers list their products and the benefits. Vacation companies talk about cruises and culture. Even dating sites claim to open the doorway to happiness and earthly bliss.
We have to be very careful that when we approach the fence that the opportunity on the other side does not turn out to be whole lot more than we bargained for.
The biblical hero Sampson began his fall when he started believing his own PR. He started to believe that he was unreachable, invincible and completely beyond the scope of mere mortals. The scripture proved true. Pride does precede a fall and he fell as hard as anyone.
How different was the story of the three young men who chose to trust God rather than bow down and worship the image of the King. Trussed up like a calf at a roping, they were thrown into a furnace so hot it killed the men that threw them in.
Believing God, they survived this man-made course of destruction. When they emerged from the fire, the ropes were gone, their bodies and clothes weren’t so much as singed.
How might life had changed for Sampson had he chosen to believe not in the promise made by his mother, but the Lord, the one she made the promise to?
Regardless the challenges we find ourselves in, we must remember the Father loves us and desires us to be not just safe, but at peace in his presence. We will learn to trust in him and not just the suggestion of peace and protection or a flimsy wire fence.