I grew up loving animals and wanting to be a veterinarian. When I was finally old enough to be in 4-H my dad and I went to a meeting. As we were walking out the door of the house that evening, my mom was saying, “Do not sign up for anything!”
Well, somewhere in those next few hours I’m not sure what happened. I not only joined 4-H, but Dad had signed me up to show a lamb in the upcoming January show. This began a whole new life for me. There was much I had to learn about being responsible for large animals, as well as raising, feeding, and showing this lamb, Suzy Q. Cute name, right?
I hate to admit it, but Suzy Q soon became a chore. Feed. Water. Exercise. Feed. Water. Feed. Feed. Feed.
On those freezing cold mornings when it was drizzling rain I seriously could have cared-less if this cute lamb got exercise, much less food. Confession time, there were even some mornings when I just didn’t feed her. My bad! Please don’t report me, because I did feel guilty all day at school afterwards.
Although I loved Suzy Q there were days I could have done without her and all the responsibility that came along with her. I seriously would have been fine, going back to my way of life before I joined 4-H. But somewhere deep down, I had such a passion for animals that I knew I had to learn what it took to raise champions. And that I did for the next 10 years, even progressed to showing champion steers and bulls.
Recently, my mind has been wandering back to those animals that I loved and despised all at the same time. I’m continually reminded of what a chore it was to feed, water, exercise, and feed, feed, feed them when all I wanted to do was live a “normal” life like most of my friends.
I’m learning new lessons on “feeding sheep”, as John 21 has been very much at the forefront of my thoughts lately. When Jesus asks Peter three separate times, “Do you love me?” He also responds to Peter’s “yes”, by saying “Feed my lambs. Take care of my sheep. Feed my sheep.”
For more on what I’m learning, sign up for my newsletter before next Monday. (It’s the brown box on the right hand side of this blog.) The rest of the story will come out in next week’s monthly newsletter.
Until then, does anyone have any stories they’d like to share on the lessons they learned from 4-H?