Cattle Call
Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

Today’s column is not about religion. I don’t want to give you a pamphlet, ask for personal information or convince you that my way is the only route to salvation. I would be a poor one to speak of religion as except for a couple weddings and few funerals-I rarely attend church I just want to tell you what I saw in a cattle pasture.

This past fall I brought the cattle home from their summer pasture. I walked out and called them so they would follow me along the road to our home place. The route I choose across the swamp wasn’t always easy but it seemed the best possible choice. I noticed that even though I chose a direct path, the cattle didn’t always follow me. Although they didn’t always follow my path, they did always keep an eye on me and became nervous when they couldn’t see me.

I can draw certain parallels to life and belief in a higher power from that day in the pasture. I know God has chosen a path for me although I don’t always follow it. It seems too hard to follow this route and at times I stray. My cattle kept an eye on me because they know I would lead them to food and comfort even though they didn’t always follow my footsteps. I’m that way with God because I want to see heaven one day but sometimes I take my own path, it’s just in my independent nature. Life gets tough when I lose sight of God and like my Highland cattle, I get nervous and rush to get a better view of my leader. I too have faith that I’m being led to comfort and fulfillment but I occasionally waiver from the established path.

Rabbi Laureate Harold S Kushner author of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” says that people attend church because God is present during the miracle of faith that cause people to seek each other out to worship. I understand this concept but I see God in everyday life-particularly at times of failure when I need help. I guess that’s what that whole “meek shall inherit the earth” concept is all about. I see a higher power whenever I feel closely connected to the earth through my cattle and the work that keeps them fed. It’s hard to rely on science and the law of averages when you see how well the world fits. Faith is supposed to be a miracle but maybe it’s the obvious choice when you allow yourself to see the world as a whole.

Today’s column was different from my normal writing and kind of a leap for me. I also realize there is faith by many names but I spoke in terms familiar to me and recognize the value of traditional religion. Truth is, I probably can’t condense my thoughts or acknowledge other’s opinions in just one column after an inspirational morning in the cattle pasture.