We had one very unique experience. Way out in the middle of Wyoming, where the land was flat and monotonous, the road straight as an arrow as far as you could see, and not even a jack rabbit in sight, we tipped a slight hill to find ourselves in the middle of a cattle drive. About 500 Black Angus cows and calves were being herded down the highway.
A herd of cows, in case you didn’t know this, is a slow moving not very bright bunch of animals that moo a lot. The other thing they do a lot of is – well, to put it gently – poop all over the road and each other. The odor is not any more pleasing than the sight.
We had two choices. Hang back moving at a snail’s pace or weave our way through the mass of black, very messy, very smelly cows. We chose the latter.
You might think that cows would run away from a big, loud Harley Davidson but you’d be wrong. Mostly they stopped in front of us and looked as if trying to decide if we were a foreign presence to be avoided or an odd looking relative worthy to be pooped on. (It didn’t help that our bike is shiny black just like those cows.)
We weeded our way among them praying they’d part and make a path. It was slow going and once or twice we had to come to a complete stop while we waited for one of them to decide whether to move out of the way or not. An understatement would be to say it wasn’t the most pleasant adventure on our journey.
But – we made it through relatively unscathed, picked up speed, and laughed about it later. It was one of those obstacles in life you’d choose to avoid if you could but in the end you do what you have to do to get past it. You just plow through.
A good example of just that came later on our trip when we stopped to visit friends in Idaho. It was there we received the sad news that she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and would be starting treatment very soon. Her comment was, “It isn’t something I’d choose to do but I don’t really have that choice. It is what it is.” She will be plowing into something she can’t avoid. It won’t be pleasant but to get from here to there she’ll have to navigate her way through.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the Christian life meant smooth sailing? Unfortunately it doesn’t. We face the same plowing though the yucky stuff that non Christians face. Only we know the ultimate ending and we know the One who can get us there, up, over, under and through whatever stands in the way. If I have to do it, I’m so thankful I don’t have to do it alone.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:32-33