Cow Tippin’

I’ve been thinking about cow tippin’ lately. We have a neighbor who’s a good ol’ boy (as my dad would say), salt of the earth (as my husband would say). He’s the kind of guy you’d want with you in a survival situation. He’s got loads of useful skills and knowledge. 

Terry & he got talking about cow tippin’ the other day (more redneck entertainment than a skill, I suppose), and Jack gave a bit of wisdom that got me thinking. “If you tip ‘em, and they don’t make a sound, you better turn your hat & run, ‘cause it’s a bull!”

I was driving down the road later & got thinking about that. It got me pondering sacred cows in my own life. How many of those sacred cows made no noise when I gave them a little push, so I thought they were okay to let stay? I didn’t realize they were bulls that could trample me to death and steal the call of God from my life.

You know, our Enemy’s a sly one, but here’s the thing, whatever he is, my Father is greater. He’s more creative, more persistent, more patient, and above all, He LOVES me and wants me to succeed in His Kingdom, so He’ll keep bringing up those bulls until I deal with them. Let me give you an example.

Romans 2:6-8 says God will render to each person according to his deeds. If you persist in doing good, you’ll go on to eternal life. On the other hand, if you’re selfishly ambitious, it won’t look so pretty for you.

Now, here’s how a big, fat bull of fear of “selfish ambition” got anchored into my soul. It had a seed of truth, but some tragic circumstances occurred (along with thousands of examples in culture) which, over time, caused me to key in on those words “selfish ambition.” I’m not even sure I’m ready to share this publicly. It’s something I held silently and sacredly for decades. Only a few people know, and I’m not sure anyone will truly understand the depth of the hold it had over me.

It went back to the true love, honor, respect, and admiration I had (and still do) for my father. He was radically saved from a destructive lifestyle and went just as full-bore for God. As a little one, I got to watch the transformation firsthand. I wanted to be just like him, operating in the Holy Ghost and power.

I listened as he shared his testimonies of how the Lord dealt with him, both before he rededicated his life to God and how He led him in ministry and life. One story he shared with our church was how the Lord was dealing with him regarding carrying on business and ministry simultaneously. The Lord wanted him to go full-time in ministry, but he was struggling to give up business.

One night, he had a dream of himself in a suit with work boots on his feet. He woke up with half of his body paralyzed, and the Holy Spirit spoke to him regarding letting go of business. When he got his heart right, he regained use of his whole body.

About 10 or so years later, he had moved the family to Nova Scotia to help start a church and Bible school at a group’s request. Needing additional funds to cover his personal bills (he used the church’s income to pay its expenses, as well as the salary of an associate pastor), he took up his old trade again, crossing the border every week. It was during one of these work trips that he was tragically hit by a trailer truck and killed at 43 years of age.

This, combined with a few other things, became the subconscious framework for a sacred bull in my life. If I was going to be 100% dedicated to the Lord, it would have to be 100% ministry. How could it be otherwise? How could I be in the world of business without being corrupted by the love of money? How could I split my focus and succeed at either? How could I keep from becoming selfishly ambitious?

Didn’t Dad die young, because He had disobeyed the Lord in that? I asked the Lord so many questions when that happened, but He stayed silent. I suppose that was between the Lord and him, and it wasn’t my business. 

I had a choice to make then. I could blame God and turn from the faith, but I chose trust. Still, that sacred bull had taken root. I wasn’t to know how deeply it would affect me until 20+ years later. Now, here I am, eyeball to eyeball with it. Will I turn my hat and run, or will I stand my ground and kick it down? 

[No animals have been harmed in the making of this post. I would never literally go cow-tipping, so be at ease, my animal loving friends.] 

I can make all kinds of excuses for letting sleeping bulls lie (or stand as it may be). If I don’t mess with them, they won’t mess with me, right? But here’s the thing, there are people right in my community I haven’t met yet and may never meet, unless I meet them in the marketplace.

They are people who have come to the end of themselves, and when they’re all alone and no one sees, they’re crying out for God. They’ve lost all hope in doing things their own way. There’s nothing left to hold onto.

Somehow, someway, the Lord is asking me to be willing to cross paths with them and love them and introduce them to life with Him. So many things I didn’t understand. So many misconceptions I had about what ministry looks like, but sometimes, ministry can look like going on special assignment for a specific period of time to interact with a specific person to introduce them to my Best Friend, the Love of my life.

This sacred bull of fear of selfish ambition has been on shaky ground for the last few years, but I’m getting ready to give him the final roundhouse kick. Within just the last few months, the Lord keeps shining a light on it, using prophecy, mentors, coaches, powerful testimonies, and Scripture. I was playing my audio Bible yesterday, the book of Romans in King James (not because it’s the best, but because that’s how I memorized Scripture in the 80s, and it gives me fond memories of Dad).

This Scripture hung in the air in my spirit, Romans 12:11, “not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord…” Time stood still. I looked that bull straight in the eyes, and I said, “It’s time for you to go.”

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