Summary: Three things to do when the storms of life come.
“The Wind in our Face”
April 26, 2009
“Well, the snow is just about melted off of Black Butte. The old timers in this area keep a watch on the conditions on Black Butte to determine when they can plant or not. Last week, with the temperatures in the mid 80’s, a lot of us ran out and bought some flowers and seeds and were ready to start planting. The old timers say don’t plant until all the snow is off of Black Butte. But who could resist getting the garden ready. At Weed Building Supply, we sold a lot of seed and rakes and garden stuff. Bob, the Master Gardener, was smart, tho. He built a planter box that he could close up if it got too cold. A lot of people lost of a lot of plants because they didn’t pay attention to those ‘Old Timer’s’ advice.
An old poet by the name of Rutherford, wrote:
“God has called you to Christ’s side, and the wind is now in your face in this land; and seeing you are with Him, you cannot expect the lee side or the sunny side of the brae.”
You understand what the sunny side of the brae is, don’t you. A brae is an old English word for hill. Sometime, about this time of the year, you can look up at Mount Shasta, or Black Butte, or one of the hills around here and see all the snow melted off of one side. That’s the sunny side. For us, in this hemisphere, it is the southern side that gets most of the sun. The northern side is in the shade and consequently still is cold and has snow on the upper elevations.
I like the sunny side of the hill, don’t you? I like to ‘sing in the sunshine and laugh every day”, as an old song goes. But, life isn’t like that is it? Sometimes we have to live on the shady side for awhile.
Have you ever heard the old timers talk about the great blizzard of ’82 or ’85? When I was young they talked about the great blizzard of ’02 or ’04 – or whatever year it was. I heard and read about those great blizzards that would catch the ranchers unprepared and destroy many of them. Hundreds of thousands of cattle and horses were killed. The year it happened varies. The destruction tally varies. The number of days the storm rages varies. But one thing is constant. It was a terrible time. It was a tragic time. It was the ruin and death of many men and cattle.
The reason for the great devastation was more than the freezing temperatures; it was more than the length of the storm; it was more than the huge amount of storm that fell. Maybe it was a combination of all those things. But the old timers say that when it first started snowing the cowboys waded through the snow and fed the cattle hay. Pretty soon it got so cold and snowed so much that some of the ranch hands were lost in the blizzard and died. After a while, the cattle couldn’t be fed. The winds blew with a terrible force. The snow continued to pile up.
At first the cattle could find shelter on the leeward side of things. After awhile, that got filled up with snow and the cattle started drifting with the wind. The put their backs to the wind and it pushed them along. For awhile the fences stopped them. Then the snow packed and piled up so high that the fences were covered. The cattle put their backs to the wind and slowly were pushed farther and farther from home. They went with the wind over fences and across streams and off their pastures. After awhile they began to die from the cold and starvation.
When the storm was over, they lay piled up in frozen heaps – some hundreds of miles from home. Why did they die? They turned they backs to the wind and took the path of least resistance to their doom. Cattle and horses don’t like to face the wind. You will see them turn their backs to the storm, hang their heads down, and go with the wind – sometimes to their own destruction.
We have that tendency, too. We like to put our backs to the wind and hide our faces and go the way of least resistance. I remember doing that a time or two in those cold Minnesota storms. I would turn my back to the wind and if it was blowing in the way I wanted to go – I got and easy ride. If it was in the opposite direction, I backed my way home.