More Cowboy Wisdom
Cody was good at digging fence post holes, and he and John dug a lot. Sam set the posts in and they not only prepared enough to fence in the cows, but more to fence them out of the large garden John and Amanda planned.
Late one afternoon they had a visitor–Amy rode into their yard, accompanied by two of her father’s riders. “I thought I’d come and see how our new neighbors are doing, now that we have peace between us,” she said.
Amanda was delighted to have female company and took her immediately into the house. Together they talked and prepared supper.
That evening after supper, Sam said to Cody, “Tell me about the heavenly quality of good fruit. What does that mean”?
“I’d like to hear that, too,” exclaimed Amy, turning her shining eyes on Cody.
Cody leaned back, took a sip from his coffee and looked at Sam. “There are several aspects of good fruit,” he said. “Let me explain each of those to you, then I’ll tell you a story about each.
“There are actually four kinds of fruit mentioned in the Bible: the fruit of the spirit, the fruit of our lips offering the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of good works and the fruit of leading people to become followers of Jesus.
So, first there’s the fruit of the Spirit which is laid out for us in Galatians 5:22-23 where the apostle Paul gives a clear list of what this entails:
These will begin to appear in our lives as we get to know God better after deciding to follow Him. As it says several places in the New Testament, as we grow in our knowledge of Him we are transformed, bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
“One of those places is Colossians 3:10, which says, “…put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
“I often pray for the fruit of the Spirit to grow and overflow from my life. Here’s what I pray.
“Lord may there be love for others in my life as you have loved me.
“May there be joy because I am yours.
“May there be peace because I receive your forgiveness, forgive myself and others.
“May I be patient because I know that you are orchestrating all events in my life, that my times are in your hands.
“May I be kind as you are to me.
“May I do good to others as you do to me.
“May I be faithful as you are.
“May I be gentle, that is sweetly reasonable, as you are with me.
“And may I exercise self-control continually and thereby bring you honor and glory.
“I know a cowpuncher who could swear the hair off a cow’s hide. But after he accepted Christ as his Savior and was born again, he got bucked off a horse and hit the ground pretty hard.
When he struggled to his feet, he suddenly realized that he hadn’t uttered one single swear word. He had been changed! Patience, kindness and self-control were sprouting in his life.”
They all laughed.
“Now, I am not by nature a patient person. I can be really pushy and irritated by slow people, especially if I have to work with them.
“On one ranch where I worked there was a young helper named Tye. He was a nice kid, but he was slow. When we were digging post holes, I could do five for each one he did. That didn’t bother me, as I could move as fast as I wanted. But when we had to do things together, like in building something or herding cows, it drove me to distraction. He would drag behind, making us all wait.
Then, as I was reading in Psalm 31, I was struck by verse 15, “My times are in your hands.” I suddenly realized that God is in control of the events around me. I could relax in this knowledge and not let Tye’s slowness irritate me.
“The interesting thing was, as I had the fruit of patience growing my life, Tye was much more open to direction in how to work faster!
“Well, I think that’s enough for tonight, we’ll talk more about the other good fruit at another time,” said Cody as he stood.
Picture: John and Cory’s fence