As I sit here Thursday night, I’m thinking of tomorrow, which is the start of the great Roxbury Mountain Cattle Company Rodeo. I can feel the fatigue already. By the time you read this, I might already be in bed, and the young whippersnappers like Peter Reed, Cameron Anderson, and my son Joel will be dragging.
There’s nothing more tiring than trying to get an 1800 lb. Angus to go where he or she doesn’t want to go. They start off quiet, but after the protestations of the first few, they all know they don’t want anything to do with that green metal-looking thing called a squeeze chute. They get prodded, needled, and pregnancy tested if a female. The final insult is this purple smelly de-wormer poured on them from head to toe. Last year, I had two cows pass out right in the chute from the stress. That was quite a picture with five of us trying to pick up a cow. Oh, brother! As I said, I am tired already!
The thing a cow hates pretty much more than anything is the human voice. It grates on their nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. That’s why cowboys whisper or sing around them. It masks their voice. So I had a happy thought: We often think of the Sabbath as given to man, but God is looking for something too. It’s His intent that all creation’s groanings should cease. As His “cattle,” we have all had our nerves grated on and stretched to the breaking point, but as we gather together this evening, light candles, sing songs, and eat sweet things, the squeeze of this world’s cattle chute quickly fades.
Last year after the “Rodeo,” I walked amongst my cows the following Saturday, and as long as I didn’t talk too much, they all came close and nuzzled me. As one of “His cows,” I find this a peaceful picture of what our God has in store for us all. Our groaning, like that of all creation, is one day coming to a final end, praise be to God!