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Lessons from Eagles

I've laid out a large heavy piece of cardboard at the back door as a boot "drop off" zone. The cowboy goes through several pairs of boots each day as they go on the boot dryer. Actually, we are using it as a warmer. David thinks this is the coldest winter in many years. Stuff breaks, machines won't start, calves freeze their feet, and ice is so thick on the ponds that chopping a watering hole is an hour of back breaking work. After getting a nasty case of frostbite as a kid, his feet are hypersensitive to the frost. It's a workplace hazard; bad footwear and cold that is. Days like today, make it seem ridiculous to even try to be in the beef business.

Today David sold a 1/2 beef and then, a half hour later, the customer cancelled the order claiming he had bought beef for 10 cents/lb cheaper last year and that price included the processing. That would mean, he bought the meat below cost. Our prices are based on what we would get for the animal if we took it to the sale barn plus a small margin for transporting. Selling beef is David's hobby, his ministry, his passion and mission to help people understand how to nourish their bodies with good lean beef. He throws in the counselling and education for free. We can always go the easy route and just move the calves along with the others to the sale barn and close down the beef part of the farm. It's a temptation. Like with all important decisions, we take it to God in prayer.

Today, out in the pasture, David bolstered the pile of carrion with an additional frozen raccoon. We noticed one eagle at first, and now three coming to feed. Magnificent birds, able to pick up the prey and dine elsewhere, have decided to dine where we can watch. The beauty of God's creation surrounds us even in the blistering cold; air so frigid, it catches in the throat and crystallizes in nostrils. A drive to town in a warm truck brings relief. David has to replace yet another warming element for the cattle waterer. Yes, stuff breaks in this cold, we break as well. But as the scripture says, "but those who wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint." (Isaiah42:16), we wait, renew our strength, mount up, and get going.

Formerly, eagles have not been frequent guests to the farm. This winter they are here daily, satisfying themselves on the meal before them, and gaining strength from eating dead frozen raccoons. I think there's a lesson in this somewhere.

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