Another Word…by Gus Keiser

February 26, 2018

Set an example for other followers by what you say and do, as well as by your love, faith, and purity.    

                                                                                                                       1 Timothy 4:12

 The recent tornado that struck Uniontown was, without question, one of more unexpected happenings to hit this area in some time. The clean-up and rebuilding process for so many families and individuals there will require both their patience and persistence and our prayers.

Every time I read or hear about a tornado striking somewhere, my mind immediately resurrects the movie, “Twister”, probably one of the most viewed of all the natural disaster movies. And while it has plenty of thrilling scenes, there is still that one scene as the storm chaser crew is caught up in a storm, during which the debris is flying all around them including a cow.  And every time I happen to see or think about that scene my mind also resurrects one of those online articles that you read and then ask yourself, “Did something like this really happen?”

That article told of a situation that supposedly took place on a section of Texas highway several years ago. Apparently a cattle carrier traveling on an interstate highway experienced trouble when the back gate of the trailer that was loaded with fifteen or twenty cows came open, unbeknown to the driver.  Well, for lack of a better way of putting it, cows flew out.  As you know, cows can’t fly, unless they’re in a tornado movie, so accidents ensued.  Several cars hit some of the cows.  Police arrived and began to do what they could to control the accident scene.  But while in the process of doing this, another truck approached on the interstate.  It sped by, nearly hitting a patrolman.  Two police vehicles immediately began pursuit of the speeding truck.  The truck quickly pulled off to the side of the highway and two men jumped out and began running.  The police vehicles also pulled over, the officers got out of their cruisers, and began pursuing the men on foot.  Eventually the two were caught.  Unfortunately, the officers had pulled their patrol cars off into some tall grass, which, thanks to a hot exhaust system, ignited a fire, engulfing the two squad cars in flames, completely destroying them…all because of some cows that aren’t supposed to be able to fly.

Moral of the story: When cows fly, bad things happen.  When cows fly, consequences are set into motion.  This story makes me think about those times when I’ve looked back on a day, feeling as if maybe my self has sent some cows flying.  Obviously I’ve never actually flung a cow, and neither have you.  But there have been those times in the lives of all of us when our words and our actions have unleashed all sorts of unintended consequences.

Let me give you one simple example: In a weak moment, we’ve all said unkind words about someone else in the presence of others and that, in turn, encouraged those people to do the same. Our slip of the tongue simply revealed the frustration of the moment, not any long-standing issues.  But, it was those unkind words that somehow made their way back to the person they were spoken about.  Talk about unintended consequences.  Before long it was raining cows!  Relationships were damaged and work was going to need to be done to restore those relationships, if possible.

The Scriptures tell us that we have a responsibility to keep a close watch over our lives regarding how we think, speak, and act. That cow story should serve as a cautionary tale for all of us.  And the moral of that little tale is advice we need to really take to heart.  When cows fly, unintended consequences result in bad things happening.  So today, (and every day) let’s do our best, with God’s help, to keep the cows where they belong.

Lord, give us both the wisdom and the self- control to always speak kindly of others and to lift up their lives in your name. Amen.

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