While running this morning, I was reminded of a lesson I learned while I was a young girl.
Growing up on a farm in rural PA daily life was full of lessons. Some lessons were the kind that would only reveal themselves later in life. Like all the times my father would tell me how doing the job well once would save me work in the long run. Now I have come to realize that lesson applied to EVERYTHING about being a parent and a spouse. Taking the time to do the task at my best the first time helps avoid allowing things to pile up and become overwhelming.
But some lessons were the kind that hit you right in the face.
Those were the lessons you had to learn the hard way. The lesson I learned the hard way and was reminded of today was:
DON'T RUN WITH COWS.
As a little girl we often helped with chores around the farm, my pappy and my daddy would remind me that while I was in the pasture or barn yard with the cows I was not to run. The cows would think I was part of the herd and begin to chase me.
I heard them tell me this...over and over. See, I never ran with the cows near so I never fully understood why I shouldn't. And more interestly, I often wondered what would really happen if I did.
That brings me to the lesson.
My father was taking my older sister on a 3-wheeler ride (yes, before there were 4-wheelers/quads, there were 3-wheelers) and I had wanted to go too. But being that I was probably the last one sitting at the dinner table being forced to eat something gross (gross as in red meat, NOT gross as in my mom was a bad cook) and having a slow time of feeding it to my dog. So they were already ripping off across the pasture as I ran down the yard and hopped the fence to chase after them.
Cows being herd animals fell in behind me running along getting more and more excited as they caught up to me and began to surround my little 50 pound string bean body. My dad hears me yelling after him to stop. When he looks back he sees me in the herd of cows and yells for me to stop running! I just know that I'll be trampled if I stop so I keep running and running and running. (maybe that's were my love of endurance was born?)
Eventually, I run back to a fence row and stop, not being able to crawl under or over it quickly enough. I turn around only to see that all the cows have stopped too.
They stand there looking at me. Almost as if saying, "Okay, you win!"
While on the surface that lesson is actually DO NOT RUN WITH COWS, it is also something else to me. I learned that I would much rather be in the front leading others, setting an example, helping to show the way. And one final lesson, it's a good thing to know when to stop.
How does my DO NOT RUN WITH COWS lesson apply to your life?