From: Broken Horn Ranch Ministries Campbell
Date: January 27, 2015 at 10:19:48 PM CST
Subject: Daily Reading-1-28-15–Bud Williams
At the end of one school year, I asked my Animal Science class what their favorite lab was that semester. We had preg checked cattle, learned how to artificially inseminate cattle, and handle straws. We’d done DNA precipitation labs, dissected ruminant digestive systems, administered vaccinations, and wormed critters, as well. We had done about 18 different labs, most of which included a trip somewhere or at least some good old fashioned hands-on learning (a hallmark of Agricultural Education, I might add). Because of the nature of all of those labs, some of which made me realize why I had become a teacher, I had some expectations as to which ones might have been their favorites.
I was wrong. Overwhelmingly, the students picked the lab where we learned how to move cattle using nothing but a read on what the animal was telling the student. It was very simple, as a matter of fact. I simply showed students how to move a steer around a pen at a walk, back up to a trot, back down to a walk, and then to a stop. They then had to turn him and move him the other direction and do the same thing going that way. The clincher was that they had to do it without saying a word or using any tools. They had to use the animal’s actions and nothing more. To finish their assessment, each student had to move two steers around the same pen, peel one off through a gate and keep the other one moving. Most students mastered it, but not very many on the first try.
I think the reason those kids liked that lab was that it gave them a sense of accomplishment and understanding. They could see the immediate reward of their learning in a way that made them feel a sense of communication with another living being. More than just that, though, they achieved that without yelling, moving fast, or using tools. They did it quietly and subtly, using intelligence and knowledge.
A lot of what I taught kids came third hand from Bud Williams, a stockman who truly lived low-stress livestock handling. He never wanted his critters to look at him as a predator. He simply wanted to take the stress off of an animal, read the animal, and get the animal to believe what Bud wanted was what she really wanted. Gary Marshall was the first one who told me about Bud Williams, and I was a believer off the bat. He’d gone to one of Bud’s clinics, and for a cowman who had been around cattle his whole life to sing an old man’s praises the way Gary did, Bud Williams must have truly had it figured out.
Keeping it simple seemed to be Bud Williams’ mantra. Things shouldn’t take too long if you’re doing them right, and if you’re thinking the right way, the livestock will be plumb cooperative. Are there those cows whose mothers are just stupid? You bet, but for the most part, if cattle are simply respected and shown that the right way is the best way, they’ll generally go that route, and for Bud, that was what was most important.
Jesus treats us the same. When we begin to think his way instead of our own, we begin to have life. It isn’t always easy; as a matter of fact, it probably seldom is. However, it’s good, and that’s way better than easy. If we submit to Jesus, he can get one of us peeled off through a gate and the other one going on by without a stick, a paddle, a fit, or anything else. That’s way better than the alternative.
Jesus loves us, and he wants to work in harmony with us, not against us. Proverbs 3 tells us, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your path.” If we just follow him, Jesus will direct us down the right trail. If we fail to acknowledge God and his role in our lives, the wreck is on. He knows how to guide us, but we’ve still got to listen. We don’t want to be like the cow whose mother is stupid. She’s going to town, and that ain’t necessarily a good thing. Trust God, and follow him. It will all fall into place after that.