Monday, February 4, 2013

1 Corinthians 13 - Rancher Style

Though I speak the language of my livestock, knowing that ol' red's feeling sick just by watching him or understanding by the way they act that the last two heifers are ready to calve. Though I know the ag issues and can discuss them with my neighbors and with our leaders, if I have no love, I become as useful as an old cowbell ringing back and forth in an obnoxious tone.

Though I am considered the farmer's almanac of our community, knowing by the sky when the rain will come and when we need to be prepared for chilly weather, even though I have faith in my ability to read a barometer, if I don't have love, I am nothing. 

If I give all that I have to help others, feed cows for my neighbor when he's had a bad wreck, give some extra milk to the large family down the road - they sure needed it, and help at every branding and docking in the region but do not have love, I gain nothing. 

Love is patient, even when the rain still has not come. Love is kind, even to the city guy who wants to tell me how to run my place. It does not envy, sure I'd love more land and a new tractor but gosh I have plenty already. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs, except the records of those cows that didn't take....that's plain wrong and doesn't need to be tolerated...cull them . Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, even when the banker asks questions I wish I had a different answer for. It always protects, like a good ol' cow protects her newborn calf. Always trusts, just like I trust my best horse even in the worst conditions. Always hopes, they might weigh more at the sale barn than I think. Always perseveres, even when society, legislation and supply and demand are against you. 

The chore pickup might breakdown. Our good cowdog might bight something he shouldn't but love never fails. Though we think we have things figured out, we'll be wrong. Our legacy is only an estate sale away from being forgotten. We think we are pretty knowledgeable about our industry but when the day is said and done, so does everyone else. When I was a young kid, I thought like a kid, I reasoned like a kid. Mama's cookie jar and my new rope were two of the greatest things the world had to offer.  When I became a man I put the ways of childhood behind me. All of the little things that seem important in my day to day life are just hoopla in the long run. 

After our fences have fallen down, the wood from our nicest barn has grown old and rotted and the genetics of our herd have been completely forgotten, we need to remember that these three things remain. Faith, Hope, and Love. We need to believe in our God who made the wonderful creation we live in, we need to keep our hope fully invested in His promises - I don't care what the market futures say and we need to abound in love. Love for the land we get to till and the livestock we get to raise. Love for the green grass in the spring and the sunrises in the summer. But most importantly love for our neighbors and love for our father in heaven.  

- Trinity Lewis

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