Standing at the window, the old rancher takes a sip from his third cup of coffee. “Finally” comes a silent thought; “it’s light enough.” As dawn breaks each morning, before I don my boots, hat, and jacket, I count. First one pasture, then the next; I count cow-butts each morning. Not a glamorous job, especially when you consider that cattle don’t use toilet paper (good thing these days), but a necessary one.
I tell myself it’s inventory control. If the count is off in a particular pasture, then I need to investigate; especially when it’s the pasture where I place all the expectant mama cows. When birthing is imminent, a mama cow will get away by herself and hide. I think it’s an instinctual thing, just like hiding their newborn calves for the first week of their life.
This morning I count the mamas and babies first; then move to another window and get “eyes on” Mavric the bull and my donkeys. I take a quick glance at the neighboring pasture, just to make sure things look right. About the time I get to 40, I realize I’m humming one of my favorite old hymns. “Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done.”
Well, most of y’all know what came next. Yep, the waterworks turned on as I stood there realizing I wasn’t taking inventory, I was counting my blessings. Each animal here at the Cross-Dubya is a blessing. Like my family members, God has entrusted each one’s care to me. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly. Perhaps that’s why I’m up each day before dawn, preparing for my day of taking care of all the blessings God has given me. Maybe it’s why I pray as I stand watch over them each day.
Thinking about this, the words of Philippians 4:8 came to mind.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8, NKJV)
I realized how in those quiet moments, when it’s just me, the cows, and God, it’s easy to count your blessings. As my day progresses, with emails, phone calls, problems to deal with, etc., it becomes more difficult to recognize all the blessings at the moment. Satan takes great delight in disrupting our thoughts and taking our minds off of the good and godly things we should make central in our lives.
With all this pandemic hoo-ha and political posturing going on, he must be having a field day with many of us. All too often, our human lives take precedence over our spiritual lives. Living today, dealing with the current challenges, can and will take our focus off our future. The result? We can set aside our joy and hope in Christ. We don’t count our blessings but focus on our problems. We forget that we are just sojourners, passing through this temporary life.
One way that I combat this is to spend a few minutes before I close my eyes thanking God for each blessing received throughout my day. Most of them are living beings, not material things. My wife, friends, and others I have interacted with during my day. The land and animals God allows me to care for; and, yes, material things like not getting the tractor stuck in the mud hole or the bull not knocking me to the ground when I wasn’t paying attention. I can fall asleep knowing I’ve taken a few minutes to say “Thank You” to the One who is most deserving; from whom all blessings flow. (James 1:17)What changes can you make to count your blessings more than your trials? Click To Tweet
During this challenging time in our lives, I hope each one of us can take a few minutes each day to stand in God’s presence. Spend some time sharing with Him our thanks for all He is, all He gives, and all He does.