“It was a beautiful bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue you could drown in it.” ― Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
There was so much to see and explore I barely took my camera out. (If you know me this is speaks volumes to the experience). I wrote a bit about Scotland in Angelic Magazine’s May 2016 issue and I can’t really sum it up better than that so I figured I would share my article.
I titled it “Asking for cow’s” but after framing my favorite Highland Cow, and naming him Waldo, I might rename it “Asking for Waldo”.
I am a voyager in these foreign lands. One whose heart is full at the coming to pass of a trip that has been dreamt of for years before.
These lands hold my dreams.
Irelands magic enthralling us all and Scotland’s untamed heart beat setting the tempo of our little adventure.
My eyes drink this wild scene, one of wonder and invitation to adventure the artistically shaped land that rolls before me. An invitation to tread the rolling green waves and chase the wind that whips it’s way through wheat and weed.
My feet could run these winding roads and never tire of the sound the glass sea makes when she clashes into this prehistoric earth.
Our two weeks in these enchanted lands has left us drunk with joy. Every person, every conversation the perfect compliment to this fantasy setting.
This trip as been a gift.
One extravagant gift, wrapped up and somehow entrusted to our hungry hands. We have voyaged these roads in pure disbelief at the beauty around us. Every expectation met with ease and every high bar surpassed with abandon.
How could I ask for more when this has been beyond my imaginings?
It was our last day in the wild Highlands of Scotland. With face plastered to the back seat window, my eyes furiously look for the elusive Highland cattle. I needed to see one before leaving and had been scanning every field determined to find my “Waldo” grazing these rolling hills.
With an almost permanent smudge mark imprinted on the window I have the fleeting thought to pray.
I have been given SO MUCH on this trip it is ridiculous to even entertain a thought to ask for more.
And it’s a cow.
A long haired cow.
In the grand story of my life a long haired highland cow will not be a major character. I forcefully shove the childish and selfish thought to the side.
“Go ahead. Try me…” is whispered so softly I almost miss it.
Why would He care about a ridiculous request and why in the world would I bother asking for MORE when I KNOW I am about to finish a trip that has been marvelous in every way.
I thoughtfully whisper my request.
With silly hope I turn again to the rock speckled mountains of these Highlands.
Cresting the next hill I spot my “Waldo”. Not one but three lazily graze like hairy beasts from a Disney movie.
My childlike shriek frightens my poor driving hubby but when the entire car of hunting eyes sees what I see a group shout of triumph arises.
How many times have I missed the cow. How many times have I failed to ask or held my request for fear of a “no” or worse for pride. Thoughts flooding my mind of the gifts I have already been given, of the privilege I have been born into, and with these glaring facts in front of me why would I ask for something as silly as seeing a four legged animal. It is so trivial compared to things I “should” be asking for. My heart wilts just thinking of the deep and numerous needs (ie: sex trafficking, racism and world hunger to name a few) of this broken world around me so how could I possibly ask for something that doesn’t matter.
Two simple words that crack open my Father’s heart and place another piece of His perfect love in my lap.
How He delights to give good gifts even if they are little and inconsequential.
How answering prayers, no more than that, how engaging in conversations and giving us our hearts delights, delights Him and cost Him nothing. (Sometimes He doesn’t answer yes when I think He should but that is an issue for another time)
How He longs to be involved in the mundane moments of our days; the drives where we want to see a hairy cow.
Gazing at His lavish heart I see where I was wrong. How I have treated my requests as if one prayer answered means He will not answer another one. That somehow a yes to this prayer takes something from His “limited” storehouse and then He has less to give somebody else. That He doesn’t care about the little desires of my heart and furthermore that praying for these “silly” things takes something away from my prayers for the big ones.
Or maybe it is because I have asked again and again, with broken heart and tears, for deep things and wrestled with the “why” and “what’s the point” when they went unanswered. I think maybe those experiences challenged my heart towards prayer. I think I may have come to the conclusion that maybe my prayers do not matter and if God fails to answer the important things I seek His intervention in, then why in the world would He answer a trivial request like “I want to see a cow”.
Face to face with this furry beast I have part of my answer.
He does care.
He cares more deeply that I know and maybe I don’t have because I don’t ask.
Tomorrow my heart may still wrestle with the “why” but tomorrow I will remember this cow. I will remember that He does hear me. I will remember Holy Spirit whispering a challenge to “try Him” with my silly requests, with my big ones and all the levels in between. I will remember His storehouse is limitless, endless really and maybe the only reason I don’t have is because I don’t ask.
Try Him, don’t miss out because you didn’t ask.
Ask for the cow, friends.