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Understand the importance of following the source

Some of the best memories I have in life came from my childhood. From the pulpit, I tell alot of stories about football but one thing my church members probably dont know about me is that I spent one summer working on a farm with my uncle in rural South Georgia. I remember it like it was yesterday, the morning was crisp and cool with a cloudless sky suspended overhead as the daylight opened her eyes to reveal what had shortly before been hidden by the darkness. The chickens were scuttling about with regular clucks and cackles. Each of the roosters was in competition over who would most graciously greet the new day. The birds had awakened and begun their morning songs. I stood there feeling sorry for everyone who had to awake to the sound of rush hour traffic and the wailing of sirens in the city. That summer, every morning there was a ritual to go through. Get up, get dressed and go out and feed the animals. The cows were in the pasture standing around, munching what little grass there was to eat, moving ever so gently from place to place just doing their cow thing. I made my way to the rabbit house to take care of my babies. When they hear you approaching, they begin jumping all around their cages because they know it is time for breakfast. Every morning as I near the rabbit house the cows begin to “mooooooo” and yell at the top of their lungs. I suppose they are saying, “Me first! Me first!” Sometimes the cows will get to their eating place before I can get in to take care of the rabbits. At that point it is either feed them, or listen to the complaints. Every morning it was the same story. Everyone is hungry and displays their intense desire to be fed. If you care for peace and quiet, you will get this job done before the day grows on.

That morning as I made my way to the rabbit house, the cows saw me and came toward the fence in a dead run. I had forgotten something so I turned and went back into the house. When I returned, the cows were standing at the fence lifting up a super loud cow version of the ‘Hallelujah Chorus.’ The old red cow, who I affectionately named “Moo,” stood closest to the fence. Her little baby calf stood between her and the fence with her head facing the breakfast table that her mom keeps prepared all through the day. While the other three made their noise, the baby just stood there. I thought to myself, “They’re all making a racket, why aren’t you?” That was when I noticed her face. The little calf stood there, her hair was long and curly and the top of her back barely reached the bottom of her momma’s belly. Her face was wet because she had milk all over her face. She was not worried about a thing. Her tummy was full and she knew where the source was when she needed more. For a moment I stopped and looked at her and then I laughed to myself. It was the baby who had the milk on her face. The older cows were bellowing and demanding, but the baby was content. The cows were waiting for someone to feed them, while the baby just followed the source.

At six o’clock in the morning you wouldn’t think there would be much that could be understood, but I learned something from this little baby calf that morning. I thought to myself, “That’s the way I want my brothers and sisters in the body of Christ to see me. Any time they look at me, I want them to see milk on my face. I want them to see me following the source, drinking deeply from the Word.” What is it about us that when we get to a point we think we have to bellow and bawl to get what we want? I’ve listened to people over the years complain because they are not being fed the way they should be, and that their lives are falling apart because someone didn’t feed them correctly, or give them what they needed. This complaint comes in different forms, but it is basically the same complaint. How is it that someone who is supposed to be mature, or maturing in the faith cannot understand the importance of following the source? I never really knew how to handle this problem until I watched this little milk-faced calf this morning. Just follow the source. When you are hungry, drink from it. When you drink from it, you will grow and develop, but when you stop following and drinking from the source, you will just bellow and complain.

God Bless and GOOOOO DAWGS,

-Rev. Murphy is the Pastor at the First Christian Church of Demopolis..