The other night I decided to work with one of my horses and do some fundamental practice with neck reining, developing gaits, giving to leg pressure, and other riding attributes. She was already broke and very gentle-knew how to take cues and respond to handling, but just needed some time to get her polished. As I finished up my workout with her, I proceeded to take her out to the small pasture behind our house and just ride around for fun. After making a couple laps around the 15 acres or so, I stopped her on the rise in the pasture and sat there for a while. The sun was easing it's way closer to the horizon on my left, glowing more and more each minute and casting it reflective shade on the nearby trees and grass. A herd of cattle were peacefully grazing to my right, enjoying the cooler weather of the evening. And ahead of me was our pond, with still waters, spotted by shadows of trees along its edge. As I sat there, the slight breeze circled my head and birds whistled back in the trees and brush. I was at that moment so thankful for the wonderful creation around me and the opportunity to be amidst the beauty while sitting atop my horse. I simply relished the moment and thanked God for the blessings of not only the sights and sounds around me, but the opportunity to experience these wonderful things by living in the country.
It is an honor to provide beef for the people of this nation and the world and it's reassuring to know your neighbor will always be someone you can turn to for a helping hand.
In visiting with a friend yesterday, we discussed how it would be for a city dweller to spend a week in the country. Would they enjoy the experience or despise it? Would it be challenging for them to be 15 miles from the closest gas station and 30 minutes from a McDonalds or Walmart? Would they learn the different lifestyle or would it be too much out of their comfort zone to even adapt? Granted, there are folks who simply cannot leave the city and have to be surrounded by people, cars, noise and business. But how would their view change if they took a drive down a backwoods gravel road and spent of the evening on the back porch watching the dogs play, enjoying the beautiful sunset and listening to coyotes howl at dusk?
Too many times I think we take for granted where God places us and what blessings we receive by living in the country. There really is something to be said for, pardon the redneck context, being able to walk in the backyard in your pajamas!
I hope I never have to submit myself to living within city limits, but that God allows me to plant my roots in the back 40, thirty minutes from Walmart and Sonic, surrounded by good, faithful neighbors and a scenic backyard view of the cows.
So what do you enjoy most about the country? What blessings do you derive out of the lifestyle of the gravel road residence? And what kind of experience do you think our friends in the city would have if they spent a week as your pickup truck passenger and right man farm hand?
Until next time, you'll find me off the beaten path and ridin for the brand!