Cattle Drives & Cowboys

There are some places on earth where the sky seems to mirror the backsplash of Andy’s room throughout the Toy Story movies. You know, the one with the bright blue background and the pearly white clouds evenly spread?

There. The picture of the blue sky and clouds right below. That’s what Wyoming looks like.

It’s something off of a Toy Story film. A sky so big and blue that it needs a Cowboy under it, and for a weekend, or at the very least, a few hours, I got to pretend to be that cowboy at Ed’s Ranch.

Ed owns 2000 acres of Wyoming heaven and has a nifty side-business where he will allow people to pay him to help him and his fellow wranglers move cattle from pasture to pasture on his land. Essentially, you pay Ed to work for him. Ed is a very smart man. You don’t get 2,000 acres of Wyoming real estate for being stupid.

You arrive to middle-of-nowhere, Wyoming, and Ed and his wranglers within minutes get you on a horse, give you a quick pep-talk on the “what not to do’s” and as soon as we had arrived, we were gone — darting off on horseback to drive his cattle, a distant group of black spots off in the distance.

Over the course of three hours we galloped and sprinted through the fields, at times, jumping ditches and hopping streams, circling the cattle and pushing them forward. The cows and the bulls didn’t take too kindly to being moved. They resisted, they all moo’ed like crazy, and every once in a while, one broke through our ring of horses in an attempt to make a great escape, only to be run down and brought back into the fold by one of the wranglers.

The herd naturally resisted being moved. They resisted the change.

As we moved the cattle into the gate, guiding them from one pasture to the other, taking them to a pasture with more security, more food, and a seemingly brighter future, I thought, “man, these cows don’t even know we’re taking them to a better place and they’re fighting it like crazy….morons.”

And then it hit me like a fast ball to the chest. Oh shoot.

I am the cow.

You see, I’ve been in a period of change recently — new managers, new co-workers, changes to institutions I treasured, and overall, new responsibilities being brought into my life.

And up until that point, I had resisted. I had lost trust in God’s greater plan. I had done my version of moo’ing — moaning and groaning about how I was going have to learn this, forget that, reinvest here, try harder there — completely resisting even the thought that my life was going to be different than it was just a month ago.

But it was different. I needed to stop my “moo’ing” and move on.

I like to think God triggers events in our lives that bring us change. I like to think he’s up in heaven instituting his version of “wranglers” in our lives to guide us into new situations, settings, and opportunities to serve.

I hope you’ve encountered some “wranglers” in your life. I know I have.

This weekend was about learning how to drive a herd of cattle, but it ended up being a lesson in learning how to trust, and learning to understand that sometimes, the grass really is greener on the other side.

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