Coffee Stains: Strange CowsAuthor: David Porter
A cloud of dust rose around me as I followed the ploddin’ herd.
Cowboying looks excitin’ when you’re watching John Wayne on tv, pardner, but real cowboys like me don’t think it’s so romantic. ‘Git along little dogie!’ I yelled (I heard that on television too). Suddenly I saw a flash of yellow out of the corner of my eye as one of my cows bolted from the bunch. He ran as fast as his paws would take him but I was in front of him in a second and gradually, but with a whole lot of effort, nudged him back with the others. Most of my animals behaved pretty well, just heading in the direction that I pointed them, but I had about eight furry little cows that gave me fits.
They were constantly wandering off to the right and to the left. We could probably make 15 miles of progress in a day, but chasin’ these little guys cut me down to five miles. Suddenly in the distance I saw a tall stranger, dressed in white on a white horse, gallopin’ my way. I heard music in the background. ‘Da dee dah da daaaah, da dah, tee da. Dah, dah dee tee dah, tee dah, ta daaah! Boom bah, boom bah.’ (That’s the theme song of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in case you didn’t quite get it). ‘Howdy stranger,’ I drawled as he rode up. ‘You lost out here?’ ‘Nope. Saw you ridin’ off in all directions and thought I’d come give you a hand.’ ‘Mighty neighborly of you…’ I had to stop in the middle of my sentence because another one of my furry cows tried to sneak out of the bunch. ‘Hey, you, git back in thar!’ We’d never make it to Abilene at this rate! The stranger kind of rared back on his horse and tilted his hat up off his forehead. ‘Think I know what your problem is thar,’ he said slowly. I looked up with interest. ‘Them ain’t cows that keep runnin’ away from the herd. Them thar is CATS! And you just cain’t herd cats!’ ‘Da dee dah da daaaah, da dah, tee da. Dah, dah dee tee dah, tee dah, ta daaah! Boom bah, boom bah.’
Life is like that, ain’t it? You wanna go somewheres and you keep getting distracted. Like this new-fangled internet thing people tell me about. You search for a word and see something else that interests you, so you gallop off after it, then something else gets you interested. At the end of the day you’ve looked at a dozen things and never found the first one you’re lookin’ for. Had an old hunting dog like that once. We’d be off deer huntin’ and he be hot on the trail of a big buck when all of a sudden he’d cross a rabbit trail. We’ll I’ll be, if he wouldn’t leave off trailin’ that deer and lite out after that little cotton tail. I’d holler at him but it wouldn’t do no good.
Spect a lotta Christians are like that. They’re followin’ the Lord with their whole heart then suddenly somethin’ hops up, cat or rabbit, I don’t know. Then they’re off. Quit readin’ their Bible ever day like before; quit prayin’ so much because they don’t wanna be legalistic, you know. Even quit goin to church so much. They can worship the Lord under the big sky, they say, all the while usin’ the Lord’s day to catch fish or have a lot of fun doing somethin’ or other. And they got plenty of time to make money and go do stuff they want to do.
Guess it’s true, there’s only so much time in a life and if you want to fill it with as much fun as you can it’s more interestin’ chasin’ cats than it is to herd cattle. I don’t know though. I figer that one of these days I’m gonna meet up with the Owner up there and he’s gonna ask me how I spent my time. Did I win others to Him? Did I serve them and help them? Did I live the way He told me to in the Bible? Or did I spend most of my time chasin’ cats? I know how I wanna be able to answer. And you, pardner? Why don’t you leave them cats alone and get busy doin’ what the Lord put you here to do? You just can’t herd cats.