“The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof…” Psalm 24:1
Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel out of state and spend a few days exploring the hill country and surrounding areas of Texas with my 12 year old daughter. A cold snap hit just as we arrived in the Lone Star state, and for the first few days as we donned our gloves and scarfs against the mid thirty degree temperatures, I wondered how this state usually known for its warmth, had turned its back on me in the weather department. The first day after we arrived was spent recovering from the change in time, and the weariness that can descend upon you after touring an airport or two, but by day two the hotel room had decreased in square footage, and the 34 degree weather was calling our name.
My sister-in-law had kindly agreed to chauffeur us on our adventure, and we began a trip intended to educate my daughter on some of the history of Texas. We left behind the freeways of the city and soon our journey opened into the highways of a hill country filled with rural roads, brushy trees, and a landscape dotted with every ranch and farm animal imaginable, with a few unexpected guests popping out to surprise and delight us.
As true tourists, we pointed out the cattle, the sheep and the goats, and of course, horses, horses, horses; miniature horses, and beautiful thoroughbreds of various breeds. We stopped to visit the presidential childhood home of Lyndon B. Johnson, as well as a local visitor’s center dedicated to the preservation of the history of the area. Lunching in a small town bakery we enjoyed the warmth of each other’s company, and the sweetness of an after lunch treat. Escaping into a small shop here and there to avoid the cold, we visited with the shop owners and picked up a small keepsake or two.
Tired from the day, the three of us climbed back into the car, ready to navigate again those same country roads that had greeted us with natural beauty and a furry beast or two, earlier in the day. The trip had been good, and I as reviewed it in my mind, I hoped that both my daughter and my sister in law had enjoyed the journey, despite the cold, and wondered if perhaps any travel memories had been made in my daughter’s mind beyond, “My mom took me to Texas, and it was freezing!”
Driving back toward the small presidential hometown my sister in law remarked that we were about to pass the ranchlands of the past-president’s great-grandfather, and what a shame it was that it was too cold to walk the grounds, none the less she suddenly decided to pull off the road just for a look. The old log fencing came almost to the road side, and as the car came to stop my daughter threw the door open and ran to the fence. There in the distance were two longhorn cattle; not your everyday cow mind you, but two beautiful big longhorns, one adorned with horns that stretched in length, what my daughter did in height.
She stood and watched, oblivious to the cold, clicking her tongue as she had done so many times before when riding horses. The cattle moved slowly toward the fence seemingly as interested in her as she was in them. She turned to the car, and began the process of coaxing me from the warmth of my seat, and within moments there we were gazing at these creatures, amazed at the beauty of their coats, and the majesty of their muscle. She clicked again, and then it happened; the larger of the two bounded toward her stopping just short of the fence and as if in greeting tucked her horns through the opening. Giggles and screams erupted from deep inside of me, and echoed from the lungs of my sister-in-law, as we both spontaneously jumped back at least ten feet, but that woman of all of twelve stood her ground and greeted those horns with another little click and a smile. The younger cow joined the party, and my daughter remarked, “See, I knew they would come to see me.”
The cows tucked their nostrils through the fence and posed as my daughter, the cow-whisperer took their pictures and smiled. Our memory had been made; a gift from God in His fullness, proof-positive that some of the best gifts come in great big fur covered packages, and cost not a thing.
"...I own the cattle on a thousand hills." Psalm 50:10
The earth is truly yours, and absolutely everything in it. Your creativity is astounding, a delight to my soul. I give You so many thanks from this grateful heart for the surprises you send my way, for each gift great and small. I especially thank you for the memories written on the heart on my daughter of the day she had the privilege of being a cow-whisperer. I am delighted at the works of your hands!