I have only one Sister and no Brothers. She is about 7 1/2 yrs older than me so I thought she was wonderful. (Well most of the time) She of course thought I was a little pest. -Not me :). We lived out in the country in farm land, however my Dad was not a farmer. The closest thing we did to that, was raise 1/2 dozen sheep a year. Some went to 4-H, some to the freezer. For whatever reason, I was okay with eating them, and for the most part so was my Sis, except "Buttons". So no matter how many times you had lamb, It was not Buttons. I think secretly she knew eventually it was, but as long as we said it wasn't she was okay.
Well with the age disparity there were a lot of things my Sister could do that I would have to wait a long while before being able to participate in. One of those was 4-H. For those of you that don't know what 4-H is, I can't remember the creed, however you raise an animal, pig, sheep, or cow train it stand the way you want while you show it at the county fair. Now after the several months of raising this animal walking, feeding brushing, combing, trimming and caring for it you auction it off and hope you get a good price. That is where the showing comes in because the more blue ribbons you get the more you get at the auction.
My sister was in 4-H, and because she was in it, I wanted to be in it. So one evening she was complaining about having to walk the sheep to give it it's exercise. So I said "I'll walk it" thinking this would please her. "No you can't do it the sheep is too big and you'll let go of it." she said. "Oh no I won't" I responded back. Well this went on for a while until I don't know how, but I convinced her I would not let go. Now mind you she did have a point the sheep weighed approx 90-100 lbs, and I only weighed maybe 65lbs. (I think I was 7 or 8 at the time)
So we put the halter on and the rope leash and I am off, only to the corner and back. I'm holding on with all my might, I'm going to show her that I can do this. So I get to the corner, doing good and get maybe 1/3 way back home when all the sudden something spooked the lamb, and it took off. Well I'm digging my heels in for all I'm worth, that lasted for about 30 seconds and then I went belly down. It was like those westerns you see where they tie the guy up to the horse and pull him with a rope on the ground.
You got it, I was being drug by a sheep. Well the nice thing about it, the sheep did head for home and as we entered the gate it stopped. Yes I'm crying, so my Sister and Dad and Mom come out to see what is wrong. So I tell them, and what do I hear..... Well why didn't you let go? Well I was happy to report it was because I said I wouldn't let go no matter what. Even with the bloody knees and elbows, I was glad I stuck to my guns.
That was probably one of my first stands on integrity, and I wish I could say I have done that in every situation that has come up in life. But as I reflect on this childhood story it gives me a goal to strive for. To return to that tenacious integrity that makes me stand for what is right and who I believe in no matter what the cost is.
As I looked up to my older Sister and wanted to prove my love to her, God looks at us and did everything to prove his love to us. The price he paid was much greater than skinned knees and elbows, but his motive was similar.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him shall not parish but have eternal life. John 3:16
I only gave a little skin off my knees. Reflect on how much love that is for God to give his Son.
Jesus cried out and said Father I will do it, but if there is any other way.
Hope this can encourage someone to realize how much someone loves you.
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