During the recent holidays our family was traveling through the country on the way home from visiting relatives. As we rounded a curve, we saw a lone calf standing on the side of this rural road. It was beside a fence and looking at a herd of cows on the other side of the fence that stood across a cattle guard from where this fella was bawling his head off. This was not a small calf. No newborn here. This was a calf that was several months old and of pretty good size. Kind of a “teenager” in cow world. I didn’t exactly realize this until we four, The Altom Angels (hey – The Fantastic Four is taken), found ourselves trying to do a good deed and convince this bovine that he belonged back across that cattle guard on the other side with his mama. Now, if you aren’t familiar with a cattle guard, it’s basically pieces of pipe that are arranged over a deep ditch. It allows trucks to cross but not cattle unless they are the jumping kind, which this fellow appeared to be!
As we all edged closer to him, he seemed to determine (and rightly so), that I would be the easiest one to take down. When I saw that look in his eye, I decided to stand up taller and wave my arms wilder so as to look bigger and “badder” and NOT be someone with whom he wished to tangle! As we moved in closer to him he decided that he, in fact, WAS capable of jumping that cattle guard after all! He just needed the proper motivation.
After patting each other on the back for our good deed, we drove on and I started thinking about how very much like that calf we are. It seemed obvious that this calf had determined that the other side of the fence looked pretty good. And jumping that cattle guard didn’t seem so tough to do…if he really wanted to. And it wasn’t. He did it. I’m sure he was quite pleased with himself – until he looked back.
Sometimes excitement motivates us to do things that are not really in our best interest, but we still think it’s worth the jump. Have you ever wanted to go back and couldn’t? I am guessing we all have but may have decided we “can’t” or it’s “too scary.” Fear can keep us from doing what’s smart or even what’s best for us if we give in to it. As we journey into this year, I encourage you to not let fear rule your decisions. I encourage you to develop a plan – whether for things you need to move forward or even for things you need to go back and fix. If you can’t overcome the fear, find someone to help give you the “proper motivation.” God will provide that if you’re willing to jump.
Until next time ~ Karen
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