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19 November 2008

Detached Cattle

The other day I commented to my wife, "I don't feel very Godly today." I hadn't engaged in sin, and I'd spent time in prayer that morning and in reading the Word. But it was just one of those days that somehow felt not quite right.

I know that this is totally unique to me. I expect that no one else ever deals with this kind of feeling. (sarcasm)

Later that same morning I looked out at the pasture behind our house and saw three young deer bounding across the wide open area, from the woods on my right to the other thicket of trees on my far left. I watched as they bounced freely across the field and thought, "Wow, creation is so cool!" There was a gaggle of cows nearby, and the thing that struck me as funny was that out of all the cows there, only two paid any attention to the deer -- two young calves. The older, more seasoned cows apparently thought nothing of Bambi and friends. There was apparently no wonder left in it for them.

The days when I seem most "connected" to God are the days when I'm most thankful for what He's done, from the seemingly simple (deer running across a field) to the massive (His healing of someone). When I have only a small dose of wonder and reverence for God, the day seems to pass by in a pretty unremarkable fashion. Is it the same with you?

I'm not suggesting that the way we feel has a bearing on how the Father feels about us, nor am I saying that we have to be in a particular emotional state to be "walking the walk." Sometimes we're required to march on without the benefit of the inner warmth of that relationship, and frankly, this may or may not be tied in to our repentance of sin on that particular day. "Blah" days just happen. My goal is to focus on thanks and reverence for Who God is, who He's allowed me to be (His child), and what He's done and continues to do.


Preston N said...

I used to deal with this more than I do now. Then I came to the realization that walking in the Spirit is not so much about emotion, but more so about knowing God than "feeling" God. Its a battle we all face as emotions are such a strong influence in our lives.

This weekend at our church fellowship a simple anology was given of this very same issue. A truck pulling the trailer. The analogy was given that the truck is our knowledge of God's will, the trailer is our emotions. Note that its not the trailer that guides the truck, but the truck that determines where the trailer goes. I guess another way of putting it is "the cart is before the horse here".

BTW - I think this is your 3rd of 4th time you've used local livestock as part of your analogy - I like it! :)

Tony M said...

The pastor at a church we've been visiting recently made something of a similar comment on Sunday, something like, "It's not about feelings; it's about faith. If God wants to give me particular feelings to go along with my faith, that's great; if not, that's also great." (Or something like that; I'm very much paraphrasing here; I need to take better notes!)

Dean Lusk said...

This kind of thing is where people assume that "going through the motions" (something I've talked about before) is a horrible idea. I don't agree, unless those motions are being done out of hypocrisy.

What if I rename the blog "Every Good Bovine Deserves Feed"?


Anonymous said...

Boo (or should I say Mooo) on the bovine joke.

This is similar to the confusion between Joy and Happiness; you can be joyful in sorrow but happiness is just an emotion.


Tony M said...

I like your point about "going through the motions" - yes, we should go through the motions even when we don't "feel" like it, right? True, our attitude does matter. But Jesus said, "If you love me, obey my commandments." (John 14:15, NLT) So even if we're "going through the motions" out of simple obedience, that's showing love for Jesus. Now, if we're "going through the motions" for our own good (e.g., to satisfy a spouse to avoid nagging), then there's something amiss. (Not that keeping His commandments, even for the wrong reason, will necessarily of itself bring about bad, other than the impacts it might have for the one doing the doing - namely, that it might cause that person to inadvertently miss the whole reason - and blessing, and potentially even salvation - for the doing.)

Hope that all makes sense... I'm kinda tired for some reason... :)

Tony M said...

Note: I don't mean to imply, from my previous comment, that salvation is based on works... just the opposite: works without salvation can be confusing and lead to a failure to accept the gift that God did through the atoning substitutionary death of Jesus in my/our place. That the one doing the works, "going through the motions," without salvation may assume that the works themselves are qualifying for redemption of sins... when there's not any thing we ourselves can do to earn salvation.

Jan said...

you do know these are COWS don't you? not deer? not a spiritual thought, but I read the whole post looking for something about cows..... haha

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