The Best Way to Milk a Cow

Despite growing up on a farm, I did not have a great affinity for the animals that were a part of my daily life. Looking for eggs under clucking chickens that fluffed their wings with every step I took was not what I considered fun. Cows? They were ginormous! I know that because when the fence that kept them corralled was not working and they decided to go exploring, my dad would do his version of a cowboy to get them back where they belonged. My job? If they ran in my direction, I was supposed to wave my arms, yell, jump around, and persuade them to go where my dad wanted them to go.

Cows and the farm fascinated Debbie, my city friend. On her first overnight at my house, she announced to my dad, “I want to learn to milk a cow”. My dad said that he would be glad to teach her the next day.

In the morning, trudged out to the barn and my dad began to give Debbie all the steps she needed to follow. He patiently guided her step by step. He had been a farmer his whole life and certainly knew the best way to milk a cow. She seriously followed each step until she got to the one where she needed to touch the cow.

Suddenly, the reality of sitting on a milking stool beside a cow that looked like the size of an elephant made touching her in order to milk her quite daunting. Debbie would move her hand toward the cow and then jerk it back. She looked helplessly at my dad and said, “Make me do it”. My dad laughed and told her there was really no way to milk a cow unless she would touch it. He patiently tried to help her, but after a half hour he and Debbie both realized this was not going to happen.

You see, the best way to milk a cow means you need to touch her and grab hold and squeeze in order to get the milk you want.

For many of us, our desires, hopes, and dreams have nothing to do with milking a cow and yet, like Debbie, we hesitate. Our fear cripples us and the voices in our head whisper over and over again well-worn lies that keep us stuck from ever reaching out and touching that thing, grabbing hold, and squeezing to get what we desire.

Going after that desire, hope, or dream is difficult and too often we want to cave in to the doubt and fear. If that thing you long for is a part of who you are, a part that the Creator put there, then it is something that requires bravery and courage to achieve and is worth the fight to reach out and do or be what captures your imagination.

Thinking about the thing you desire will not give birth to it. You will need to fight past your fear and doubt, labor over the dream, have patience, and grab hold and squeeze to get the rich goodness your heart desires.

The best way to milk a cow or pursue any other desire, hope, or dream means you will need to reach out, touch it, grab it, massage it, and trust the One who gave you that vision at every step along the way. You will get no milk if you simply sit on the stool beside the cow!

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