There is a lot about our human nature that we can learn from animals.
“The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.”
This cow-she is the only Holstein-looking cow in our beef herd- is always on her knees with her head stuck underneath the fence trying to eat what is not in the field. And no, she is not praying! It does not matter which field she is in, she is at the fence line on her knees. I have watched her. She will eat, back up slightly, get up off her knees, move a few inches and down she goes again, with her head stretched out as far as she can reach. And don’t dare leave a gate open, she will find it.
The other day I was watching the cows eat at the feed trough. They were lined up in a row, neatly spaced. There are slats in the fence line to help keep each cow in their spot. Usually the cows will eat at the same spot or close to it.
These two cows were eating their neighbors food. Obviously they have not read Ten Commandment number 8 and number 10. Even though there was still feed in front of the cow, she was stretching her neck and tongue to reach what was not hers. She wanted more. She wanted her neighbors food!
“Thou shall not steal”.
“Thou shall not covet.”
I have been thinking about these pictures and wondering, am I like that? Do I want what is not mine? Do I always want what my neighbor has? Am I satisfied with what is on my side of the fence? Of course I am, it is you that I can point a finger at. Sadly that is not true.
As Americans we have an insatiable appetite for more, bigger, better, and newer. We justify spending more money to save money because it will save us time. Figure that one out!
This spring I brought a new camera. I wanted one that was better than just “point and shoot” like I had. I have been so pleased with my new Canon SX50HS. But guess what? Now I really wish I had gotten the next step up so I can do more!
I really would like an addition to the house so I could entertain…not more but better! If the speed limit is 65, I go 69. If it is 70, I set the cruise control for 74. I push the limits but don’t want to get caught and mutter about the person passing me, secretly hoping that he will go through radar! Sometimes I struggle with liking the best, biggest and newest. I like quality and quantity. I wish, I want, I would like, I need…..! Am I alone?
When I write it on paper it sounds pathetic, selfish and greedy.
When I go back and look at the pictures I see there are other cows in the pictures that are eating contently even when what they have is taken away. They seem to be tolerating the greedy cow without a whim.
The Apostle Paul gave us some advice from his personal experiences….. “for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Philippians 4: 11).
The writer of Hebrews (13;5) said, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.”
The Psalmist also had some words on the subject. “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry with goodness.” (Psalms 107:8-9)
Contentment brings gratitude and gratitude bubbles forth with thanksgiving. When our longing, hungry, empty, covetous soul is filled with God’s goodness we are satisfied. Yes, we still have needs and wants but there is a check to our desires.