I married a shy dairy farmer, or so I thought! He looked like a farmer, he smelled like a farmer. Everyday, he went to the barn and milked cows, drove tractors, stacked hay, and cultivated the fields. He had plans, big plans of being the best dairy farmer the state, and I had plans to help him do it!
But one day he came in from the barn and informed me that he wanted to be a preacher. Much to my shame, I laughed. I could picture him doing almost anything, but not preaching! The guy could hardly carry on a conversation with people he knew much less stand up and preach! But as fate would have it, he was serious which meant that I would inherit the dubious position of "pastor's wife".
Now when I got saved, I told the Lord I was willing to do anything, but in my eyes this was stretch, even for God! I was anything but typical Pastor's wife material! I knew cows, yes, and dogs, and was learning about babies, but this pastor's wife gig was downright scary and uncharted territory for me! How would I make the jump from cows--those stinky, cud chewing, sedate but neurotic at times, four legged bovines whose udders would sway like a ship at sea in a storm as they walked from the barn to the field every night-- to those diverse, two legged, multi-faceted, but also neruotic at times human beings? Sure I had a lot of psychology in college, enough to know that I knew absolutely nothing about dealing with people.
But as I got into this thing I came to realize that cows and people are not very different after all. The good Lord knew what He was doing transplanting me from the farm to the flock!
There are so many ways which cows and people are alike! Cows have a menstral cycle of 28 days, just like humans. They act really strange once a month during their hormonal cycle, just like humans. They have a 9 month pregancy, just like humans. They even have invetro fertilization programs for them, just like humans. They have multiple chins and multiple stomachs when they are older, just like some humans. They get mastitis when they are nursing and blocked milk ducts, just like humans. They adopt other cows calves if the calve's mother dies, just like humans. They have a nesting ritual right before giving birth, just like humans. You can tell when they're sick or when something is wrong by looking at their eyes, just like humans. They eat probably a better balanced diet than humans, but they eat well, just like most humans. When they are sick, you call the doctor, just like humans. If they are on medication, you don't put that milk into the tank or into a calf, just like humans. They function best when their routine is not disturbed or changed, just like humans. And although they prefer a routine, they are the most unpredictable animal on the planet--very unreliable, just like humans. They are always looking over the fence at the weeds in the next pasture, longing, yearning and trying to reach them even though they are standing in field of expensive grasses, planted just for them--so, so much like humans. When their babies are taken away from them, they bawl and bawl, just like humans. They are very often knee deep in poop, just like humans. They have to deal with others in the herd mistreating them, peeing and pooping on them, trying to bump them out of the way, just like humans. When one of them becomes scared or exceptionally daring, they all follow suit like lemmings to the edge of a cliff--mass hyteria, just like humans. They are creatures of habit with that inner biological clock--they know when it's milking time, feeding time and resting time, just like humans. When they get new bedding or a new stall, they go about busying themselves to get everything arranged and perfect for them, just like humans. Cows are notoriously stubborn and dumb, just like humans. (Hey, don't bash me! Even God says "all men, meaning humans, are stupid!")
Of course, there are some differences. People are much harder to get to know, much harder to develop a relationship with, and much harder to communicate with. You can't just lure them in with a special snack! Cows are cautious and insecure, but yet forgiving. People are generally just cautious, insecure, and unforgiving. Cows can be "headed", which means that if you need them to turn, you simply get in front of them, wave an arm and give a little whistle and they will turn on a cow patty (shaped like a dime) and go the right direction. People will just run right over you on their way down the path of destruction yelling that you're full of cow patties and being mad at you for jumping in front of them trying to help! Cows do not bite, but humans sure do--or maybe that's the proverbial knife in the back I feel!!! When I'm sick of the cows, I can just turn off the barn lights and leave them behind. When I'm sick of people, I still have to be a light and always endeavor to take them with me! When a cow does not perform as needed, or she is sick with an incurable disease, or she has behavioral problems that cannot be solved, you just sell her to McDonald's to become next week's Big Mac. Unfortunately, it's not that easy with people. Hmmmmm......there sure are days that I miss the farm!