OPINION COLUMNS

COWabunga, Dude!

By Gerry Lewis | Published Wednesday, June 19, 2013

”Gerry, we just took out a cow.”

Can I just tell you that when you hear those words on a cell phone call, it does not bless your heart! Especially when the call comes from a groomsman who just left from your son’s wedding reception and has another two of your son’s best friends and wedding attendants in the car with him.

I have known these boys for years – the driver for his entire life. We definitely had some Angus angst going on, and there may be some future cownseling necessary.

This crazy cowmikaze event was probably a result of the powerful thunderstorm that blew across Palo Duro Canyon toward the end of the wedding reception and left us cowering under cover watching one of the most amazing light shows I have ever seen.

Young men from the big city of Azle don’t expect to encownter livestock in the road while they are driving in the rain late at night. Of course, in cattle country those blessed bovines can and do move around during stormy weather. It is udderly impossible to keep them all under cowntrol and all accownted for. The 10 minutes it took me to catch up to them after the phone call seemed to cownt down like molasses on a January morning.

When I arrived at the scene, the car was totaled and Bessie had departed for Heifer Heaven, but the boys were OK. They are to be cowngratulated for their calm response. I’m sure that Zeke’s wedding day is a day they will never forget!

All I could think of was how a spectacularly wonderful day could have ended in tragedy. OK, maybe it did end in tragedy for the cow, but the rest is just stuff. A rancher lost the value of a cow. Our friends lost the value of a vehicle. But God protected our most precious treasures – the lives of three young men.

I don’t know why God let them walk away unhurt. We don’t usually bother to ask why on things like that. We ask why the cow was in the road. We ask why they weren’t able to swerve and miss it. We would certainly be asking why if they had been injured or worse. But since we think we deserve good things like protection, we don’t bother to ask why when it happens.

I’m not suggesting that we should always ask why things happen the way they do. I am suggesting that we have a purpose for being here. Sometimes a “near miss” can refocus us on fulfilling that purpose.

Acts 17:27-28 says, “God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being.”

Our lives matter so much to God that He has arranged circumstances so we can encownter Him.

Spiritual lessons from a restless cow? Cowabunga!

Dr. Gerry Lewis is director of missions for the Harvest Baptist Association, which is headquartered in Decatur. He writes a blog at www.lifematterstoday.blogspot.com.

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