Monday, March 1, 2010

A Calf Named River

So the new bull calf finally has a name. A month and lots of thought, hadn't produced a name that seemed to fit him. After tossing around a few dozen I finally settled on River. Maybe a bit of an odd name for a calf, but I think it fits well. Tossing around the usual cow names, asking Facebook nation, and cracking open the thesaurus yielded no luck. Lots of great ideas, but not just the right name. His long white stockings tempted me to name him Pippi. The long white blaze on his forehead argued for a name like Blaze or Flash. But I wanted a name that would symbolize the year, a name of significance, one that would sum up how I felt about life.

Chance, in the end, was the perfect name for my now one-year-old Jersey Holstein cross heifer. Last year was a year of chances after all. A venture, a gamble, a year of risks, a year of possibilities, a year of the unintended and the unplanned. In early February when I brought her home I had no clue that's what was just around the corner; the year summed up in a word. I would go out on a limb, taking chances never dreamed of. Do or die, unsure of my options, hoping that it paid off, I trusted and jumped in with reckless abandon, both feet first. The chances and risks did pay off, and in ways I never dreamed of or expected.

So, again I find myself faced with the possibility of labeling my year. Ah, to sum it up in a word, River! The word I choose to encapsulate my dreams and aspirations for the year. A word to grab hold of and run with, with unrestrained fervor. A river recharges that which lies in close proximity, a channel through which life giving water flows from one place to another. It implies a full supply even in the midst of a dry spell.

I love what Isaiah 41:18-20 has to say about a river. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

Or how about Jeremiah 17:8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

And who can forget John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad Psalm 46:4.

I want to live my year not not a stream, a babbling brook, or a creek, but as a river! To purpose my life to be a river to those around me, faith to live a life of abundance in the midst of lack, to bring life to those in the desert, to let God do a new thing in and through me.

River, it turns out, is a pretty good name.

River, just 12 hours old, meeting Chance for the first time.

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