Are you a Ruminant? Say What?! I would like to take this opportunity to talk seriously about “Ruminants”. Well as you probably know a ruminant is any animal that chews its cud. Cows are the most common ones we see. Have you ever watched a cow chew the cud? Basically they eat some food and then later belch it back up and chew it again. This is right and proper for cows, but certainly not for humans. If we started doing that, our stomach acids would seriously burn our throats. Plain and simple, we are not supposed to be ruminants (but I think I may be one…I’ll explain).
This being a ruminant is not only true for food but for other areas of our lives. Many of us try to chew the cud when it comes to problems, changes, or the future. We chew on something for a while and then later on we “belch” it back into our minds and chew on it again. Sometimes we find ourselves “chewing the cud” at 2:00 in the morning. In all honesty, we weren’t made to chew this kind of cud either. From my own experience, those problems taste horrible at 2:00 a.m.
This article actually came about as a result of a dream I had one night. It wasn’t the usual “hot-fudge with nuts after my pizza dinner” induced dream. In this dream there was a cow standing in a field chewing its cud…that’s it…that’s the dream in its entirety: the cow was chewing grass, swallowing, and then belching it back up and chewing again. I don’t know how long I watched this scene in my dream, but that was all there was to it…except for the voice. As I awoke from this crazy dream I plainly heard a voice saying: “You are not a cow!! Quit chewing the cud!!” Please don’t call in the psych’s…I already know I have issues!!! I stayed awake for a while pondering what had just taken place, feeling oh so sure that God had communicated to me in a very simplistic way…so that I wouldn’t miss His point. I was (and sadly continue to be at times) a cud chewer. The stressors in my life get regurgitated at the most ungodly hours…like 2:00 a.m. How I wish I could blame it on chocolate!!!
I have continued to ponder this dream and the words of the voice and I came to some conclusions that I thought I would share with you. I wish I could report a total victory in my cud chewing…but my throat is burning as I write!! Please keep in mind that I am simply a cud chewer trying to stop this horrible habit. Hopefully these thoughts below can be of some help to any fellow chewers of the cud!
In the Gospel of St. Luke, Jesus tells a story of a rich man who started worrying about his future. He began to “chew the cud” and decided to build bigger barns so that he could take life easy (eat, drink, and be merry). All that “cud chewing” did him absolutely no good. God said to him: “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” Jesus then told His Disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…but seek His Kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well”. (Luke 12:16-31)
When God called the rich man a fool, He was really saying the man was denying the existence of God. God’s own definition of a fool is: “A fool says in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). When anyone begins to be controlled by their problems or worries, they are really saying that there is no God to take care of these things. In reality, God is more than able to take care of our problems and worries…to take care of our future. By God’s own definition, we become a fool when we deny God’s ability to take care of us and then we begin to create a new god (barns, money, etc.).
Whenever changes or problems occur in our lives, we are faced with a choice. We can get anxious about our situation and begin to worry. This of course leads to stress and early morning hours of “chewing the cud”. This is not a healthy approach to life. The other choice is to involve God in the situation. St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians explains what we should do: “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:5-7). God did not create us to “chew the cud”. We should definitely leave that to the cows and enjoy a peaceful life.
I am thinking of starting a “CUD CHEWERS ANONYMOUS” group or a “RUMINANTS FOR GOD” group. So if you know of someone who has total victory in this area…let me know. I can’t seem to find anyone in my neighborhood. Otherwise, if you see me standing out in a field someplace, chewing away… you’ll know what’s going on!! :>) You are welcome to join me…us cud chewers usually like to be in herds!!
Praying you fellow ruminants out there gain victory…Blessings to you all!!!