Greener Pastures

In December, my friend and neighbor placed forty five steers in the pasture next to mine as part of his annual gain program. Gain, for non-ranchers, is helping yearling steers get ready for the feedlot or auction by placing them in an environment that maximizes their growth potential.

These programs allow steers to gain between two and a half to three pounds per day. In a typical ninety-day program, the steer comes in weighing three hundred fifty pounds and leaves weighing over six hundred pounds. That’s under ideal conditions. This past winter was less than ideal.

In March, as my friend’s forage crop was eaten well down, he had one steer (#15235) that spent more of his time outside the fence than inside. Every day, it seemed, I or one of my neighbors would find the cow alongside the road eating the lush grass he couldn’t reach from inside the pasture. I named the little fella “Houdini” as no matter what my friend or I did to keep him inside, he found a way of escape.

As my friend’s grass and winter wheat was getting scarce, I could understand how the steers would stick their heads through the fence. They would do so to eat from my pasture where the clover and rye grass was three-foot tall. In fact, they had eaten a two-foot wide swath along our shared fence line all the way to the ground. Then, they moved to the roadside fences. This is where the fun began.

After the first few times I found “Houdini” walking along the side of the road feeding, we placed stays on the strands of barbed wire making up the fence. The stay keeps the individual strands equally spaced. Until one day I found my new buddy outside the fence. No sooner than I got him herded back into the pasture through the gate, he headed for the feedlot.

Curious, I returned to my truck and watched for a few minutes. It wasn’t long, I caught him behind the feedlot, nosing his way under the fence. This hog stretched the barbed wire with his head and neck. His brute strength doubled the stays to create enough space for him to fit between the one and two wires (bottom two strands of the fence). He then wiggled through, stood and looked at me (am pretty sure he snickered), and started eating his fill of tall grass.

I couldn’t help but laugh at his antics as I herded him back inside the pasture where he was safe. I took photos of the damaged fence and texted them to my friend; explaining what was happening. The next day, he put Houdini in jail by placing him inside the feedlot at his barn about a mile away. His solitary confinement solved the problem of making the turn on our country road to drive headlong into a cow.

Finding the photo (above) on my phone, I chuckled as I remembered this little steer’s antics. I wasn’t upset at his getting out all the time. We all desire to chase “greener pastures” in our lives. I thought of 1 Corinthians 7:24 (NKJV) that states “Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.” Live as you are called; what a wonderfully simple concept, but oh so difficult for us humans to apply in our lives. We too seem to have an inane desire for “greener pastures.”

Do you find satisfaction where you are in life or are you always looking for greener pastures? Share on X

A new job, new mate, new church, or new adventure; it seems many of us are never fully satisfied with what we have. At least I was that way in my youth. You? As I’ve gotten older, I’m not as bold as I used to be. Perhaps it’s because as I’ve grown closer to God, I am finding I need less to satisfy me and want more to please Him.

God’s blessings…

20 thoughts on “Greener Pastures”

  1. Steers sticking heads through a fence reminds me of curiosity that can be one’s downfall. Your last sentence is powerful:”Perhaps it’s because as I’ve grown closer to God, I am finding I need less to satisfy me and want more to please Him,” is worthy of a frame or plaque. Always a blessing to read your posts. Thank you.

    1. Ms. Marilyn; am pretty sure it’s your kind and encouraging words and not the post-op pain that has brought tears dear friend. I pray God’s continued blessings in your life my sweet friend. My life is better because God placed you in it ma’am. Thank you for all you do and all you are ma’am.

  2. I enjoyed this post so much! I couldn’t help but giggle as I imagined Houdini escaping from his fence — love the tie-in with greener pastures.

    Praying all goes well with your surgery.

    1. Thank you so much Ms. Cathy. So glad you enjoyed ma’am. Can only imagine what a blessed sound that must be. Sweet laughter filling your new tiny home. I love hearing God’s love out loud.


    Loved the story! If only we had Houdini’s single mindedness when it comes to following God’s will for us.

    1. Amen Ms. Cherie! I pray God’s help to move me a little bit closer to where He wants me to be each day. Thank you for being so willing to help me and others grow in our faith my friend.

  4. I love the way you ended this post.

    I think we stop chasing greener pastures, not because we’re less bold, but because “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Thank goodness God never gives up, but continues to work in us teaching us how to live abundantly.

    1. Thanks Ms. LuAnn. Having lived in the country in TN, I know you can appreciate God’s sense of humor. It’s all around if we slow down enough to look. I love how He loves us so much He plants little nuggets of joy for us to discover and share a laugh with each day. God’s blessings ma’m.

  5. We do tend to look at the “other side” and believe it’s so much better. Houdini seems like a smart animal!

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