My home is squeezed between houses with small yards; we have roads separated into blocks and lined with sidewalks – I live in the city. Even where I lived before now could hardly have been called the country (though you couldn’t have called it the city either). I’ve never much cared for the noise and bustle of cities; my mind usually wanders to rolling hills, open pastures, big red barns, and farm animals.
I remember the years that I spent showing horses. A day out on my friend’s farm to practice with the horse that I borrowed was pretty near the top of my “favorites” list. I miss riding for hours in the big arena and brushing out the horses after unsaddling for the evening. I miss the smell of sweet feed and fresh hay; the sound of the animals, bedding down for the night on their beds of clean straw. When I walk into a barn, my first thought is horses, but I’ve a soft spot for the other animals as well. Cows have always caught my attention – especially the jersey cows (those brownish, red ones with the big brown eyes). I love seeing the little calves, with their wobbly legs, twitching tails and fuzzy ears. Some days I’d love to just sit and watch as the cattle go through their daily routine.
Have you ever just sat and watched a cow out in the pasture? Perhaps you’re thinking I’m out of my mind; after all, who has time to sit around and watch cows? If you ever do find time for this observation, you’ll see that – first off – cows chew their cud. It’s a long explanation, filled with odd names for all five of the cow’s stomachs, so if you want the scientific story behind that, I’d suggest Google or the nearest farmer.
Anyhow, after a time of grazing, you’ll see the cow plop down on the ground, relaxing as they reprocess what they’ve already eaten. This helps them to digest their food more efficiently so that, in the end, they get more out of it. True, it’s not the loveliest process, but bear with me.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a bit about chewing some cud myself. Don’t worry, I don’t mean literally. You see, on a Sunday afternoon, my mind is busy with thoughts of my plans for the coming week; whether I’m looking forward to an event or dreading it, that’s what’s on my mind. But lately, I’ve been thinking – perhaps I should be taking some time to rework what I’ve taken in this past week. Perhaps – like a cow chewing cud – I should revisit the ways that the Lord has blessed me lately.
I can’t help but wonder how my coming week would turn out if I began it with thoughts of God’s past faithfulness. I admit that some weeks are difficult to see God’s goodness in, but it’s all about perspective and I know – no matter who you are – that God has given you some blessing or another lately.
So, what do you do with your Sunday afternoons? I usually end up plopped on the couch, cozy beneath a blanket as a movie plays; if I’m not doing that, I’m caught up in that time-consuming thing, called Facebook. I consider this my “winding down time,” as I prepare my mind for the coming week. There’s nothing wrong with spending my afternoon in this way, but I could really use to make a little time to ruminate on the Lord and the ways that He has blessed me this past week. Using my Sunday afternoon to “chew” on what the Lord has done for me lately leaves me refreshed, rested, and ready for whatever this next week brings.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. ~Psalm 1:2-3