Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Breaking Out

Oh, to live in the country....and have a quaint little farm with a few animals...Everything will be so charming!
Yes, I confess to having thought this before we moved out to the country with our little "farmette." And actually, I really love where we live and wouldn't trade it for the city any day. That being said, country life is WORK. We only have a few cows and some chickens, and it is lots of work!

I am mentioning this today because we spent the better part of the day rounding up wayward cows. It doesn't matter that they have twenty-five acres to pasture- and there are only three of them. The grass IS always greener. Penny, the Momma milk cow is content. It's her feisty teenage calf (actually not even a year old, but acts like a teenager) giving us all the trouble. He jumped the cattle grate, trampled an electric fence, and went under another. Just to get out. FREEDOM!

Isn't that the cry of the age? I wanna do it my way and do it now. Most teens, in general, have struggled with that forever. It just seems that in our present day culture, more and more adults are struggling with wanting to "break out." The answer is always on the other side of the fence, so to speak.

It's amazing to me how much the natural world corresponds to human nature. I look at my hens scrapping for food; I see my kids. I look at my dog salivating over the cats' bowl (which is next to his full bowl) and I see myself. I see myself coveting others' virtues and skills. Why can't I be more _______ like _______(fill in the blanks). I wish I could __________ like ______________. Why can't this child be more like so and so's child. On and on it goes.

There is definitely a place for heroes and emulation in our lives. We aspire to be gentle and kind, like Mother Theresa. We see the way a friend or sister nurtures her children, and we learn how to do the same. That is good. At the point that emulation becomes discouraging and covetous, that is NOT good! Do I really think I can be all things to anyone? Does not living up to my ideal make me a failure? Definitely not.

I was having a moment today when I felt so down on myself. The little message started to play in my head. You should have done this. He shouldn't be doing that. I need to ________. Why can't I just ________??!! Frustration , then that feeling of failure. Am I being too honest? I hope not. I went to my room and said a quick prayer, took five minutes to recollect, and came out to begin fresh.

So the answer to life's problems isn't breaking out; it's pulling in. Maybe we could learn more from the snail? Jesus,himself, went to a mountain top to pray. Well, my mountain top might have to be my bedroom, or the bench in my backyard! The point is, we need to find a quiet place to pray, reflect, and be still before we can give to others. So when the cup runs dry, do yourself a favor and get the spiritual drink you need!

(I am so blessed to find refreshment from this beautiful view in our back yard!)