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Branding Anyone?


"Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen." Mark 16:13-15


I recently had an opportunity to participate in a branding and inoculation procedure at a local cattle ranch, and it was an enlightening experience, not only because of the shear volume of animals that have to be serviced, but also at the tenacity and stubbornness of these calves. For those of you who aren't familiar with the process, here's how it works...the calves are separated from the cows and bulls, then one-by-one, driven into a series of metal shoots, one for holding the calf still while the brand is applied and the vaccination is given, and one for holding the next calf's place in line. My job was to push the calf into the shoot and make sure he went in head first. No problem, right? Well, as expected, the calves aren't not necessarily keen on the idea, and do everything they can not to go into the chute, including turning and backing in, trying to go out other chute openings just wide enough for their head or legs, and also kicking everything and everyone in their path (want to see my bruises?). It takes all your strength to put and keep the calves where they're supposed to go.

This experience made me think of us as God's children, pretty much doing everything we can not to go in the direction that God wants us to for our lives. It seems we spend most of our time figuring out how we can do our own thing, rather than asking God what he wants us to do. God knows what's best for us, and his plan is in place to keep us and protect us, and to use us in the way that he knows is best. Why are we so stubborn and rebellious? It's in our nature to be defiant, all the way back to Adam and Eve in the garden (apple? what apple?) In Mark, we see that even the men that walked on Earth with Jesus were stubborn and rebellious, not believing what Jesus had said only days before, even to the point of needing to place a hand in the nail holes for proof.

Don't be like the calves, kicking and pushing and doing everything to rebel against your Master. Look to him for his plan and follow him. Let him place his mark on you for all to see that you are a Child of God. Amazing things will happen when you do this.

"Dear Jesus - Forgive us for our stubbornness and rebellion. Show us how and where we should go for you. Mark us as your chosen ones and love us as we love you." - Amen

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