Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ya Gotta Have Faith

This past few years has been quite a journey for me.  It's been a couple of years of education (which will continue till I take my last breath) and personal growth (which I HOPE will continue until I take my last breath).  My faith in God and in walking the path He has laid out for me has increased immensely.  But faith comes from going through storms, trusting in God to get you through that storm and moving on to the next one, so to speak.  And faith isn't always about getting exactly what you want from God.  It's about trusting HIM to give you what's best.  I can't say that has been the easiest thing to accept on my part.

I have been in the cattle business pretty much all my life.  I knew a lot of the work aspect of it.  I knew how to feed a cow and how to put a bull with her to get her to have a calf.  I knew how to ride a horse and turn a cow with it. I knew I would never be sorry at the end of the day for working hard. But I didn't know any of the business side of it.  To be honest, that's one of the places that I still have a lot to learn.  Ranching for me was always about self satisfaction, looking out over what I'd accomplished and the feeling that comes with that.  But it was pretty much just about ME.  Since that horrible day in October 2010, when we bought the remainder of the ranch, things have had to be quite a bit different.

I've had to learn business aspects that were not ever placed on my dad.  I had no one to go before me to teach me the ropes or for that matter, give me much advice on such matters.  A couple of close friends had been through similar experiences and they offered what advice they could, but for the most part, it was(and continues to be) on my shoulders. A bit overwhelming at times, and I will be honest in this......I have spent a lot of time in prayer about it.  I knew it was going to be an on-going lesson in faith.  It has been and it will continue to be.  I have confessed to God and a few others that there were several things in which I did not know what I was doing.  But you know what is really great about this?  God has constantly put the right people in my path to help me, to teach me, to encourage me.  He has pointed me in directions that I would not have considered.  He has, time after time, given me what I needed when I needed it, through others or in some way, shape or form.

 The land will be here long after I am gone.  The cows will continue to produce generations and generations of new calves, just like the generations before.  The wind will still blow and the rains will still come.  The grass will still grow up in the spring and the snow will still fly in winter.  I'm such a small part of the whole scheme.  What seems like a giant thing to me is really just a tiny speck in the universe.  My job is to take care of what the Good Lord has blessed me with in this brief moment in history. 

 Ranching, I have come to realize, is a never ending lesson in faith.  Everything we have is really God's property.  Everything we receive or don't receive is a gift from Him.  There will be bad times and there will be good times......Storms and sunshine.  I wish it could always be 75 degrees and sunny with just a light breeze, but that isn't the way it works.  It isn't the way life works either.....However, there's a pretty good chance we'll get some days like that.