The drive between our house and Jerry's family is beautiful ... summer, winter ... spring, fall. The road bends around dense groves of trees, vast farm ground and open pastures. Rolling hills take you up and down, carving out a passage through God's country. During the summer, wild flowers poke through tall grass. Large tree branches perch high above the road ... their leaves offering shade.
Over Memorial Day weekend, we took that drive to meet Jerry's family at his sister's house. Like many other trips, we made a game out of who could spot the first deer. This is easier during winter when their stark brown bodies stand out from the white snow covered pastures. In the summer, they fade into the tall grasses, soybeans or corn stalks.There could be large numbers grazing in the open fields or a single one peaking out from the roadside trees. Our boys love watching for them and it keeps the boys busy for the 20 minute drive.
Each of us spotted a few deer. Even one deer standing just off the road, nearly hidden by the shadows cast from trees. As we rounded one of the curves, I noticed a herd of cows grazing ... meandering down the fence line ... enjoying the warm sun and green grass. The field around them and behind them was covered in tall grass, wild flowers and trees. For some reason, they all gathered by the fence. The fence row was lined with a muddy path. The cows sunk deep into the muck and stretched as far as they could ... munching on grass. We stopped (because I wanted to) and watched.
That is so dumb, I thought. I looked at their legs, completely covered in a thick layer of mud ... up to their knees. Dumb. All around them stood long stems of bright green grass ... they could eat those and not end up in such a mess. I'm sure cows don't really care about the appearance but surely it's uncomfortable.
We drove on and I thought ... dumb? I do that exact same thing. I am surrounded by blessings. Yet ... I reach as far as I can ... stretching to try and achieve something ... obtain something. it's not that I don't love the life He has given me ... for some reason it just seems that what someone else has might make me ... more content. I have everything I need all around me. I don't need to have what's on the other side of the fence. I always end up making a mess of things when I try to gain something that really isn't intended for me. I walk back and forth at the fence line, making a huge muddy trench ... starring at what someone else has on the other side, trying to figure out how I can get what they have ... if I stretch far enough maybe I can reach it, pull it back to my side of the fence. I'm sure the farmer who owns those cows has given them plenty of pasture. I'm sure he planned it out, knew exactly what his livestock would need ... gave it to them and cares for their well being. God put me on this side of the fence for a reason. He knows what's best for me, he cares for me and satisfies my every need.
From now on, when we pass that open field and see those cows ... I'll be reminded of how much I have and how much I love what He has given me.
Deuteronomy 5:21 "You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s."
Matthew 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."