Photos by Linda Mose Meadows
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him Psalm 28:7
I haven’t seen this commercial recently, but it was one of my favorites. I am guessing you may remember it also? Here’s the scene (of course I’m taking creative liberties): dusty cowboys are gathered around a campfire, we imagine them settling in for the evening. It’s a lone, quiet atmosphere, an ebony blanketed starry lit sky which envelopes them is complete with loud crickets.
This scene is the backdrop for the “grubbing” cowboys hungrily eating their meal. For a split second the television viewer is given space to imagine many things. First what in the world are they eating? Is it really that good? Many agree with Van De Camp and me, that it is just that tastey? Yummy baked bean by the fire. But there’s more to the message.
Where have they been? Where are they headed-just what is their destination? And why are they so tired? Then one cowboy says in a matter-of-fact tone to the others, that the one who’s responded to his comment about the delicious bake beans is from New York “Yurk” City! His words place great emphasis on the sound of “ORK” and “ITY” in an exaggerated twang! Hearing this always caused me to laugh out loud! The over-the-top diction was clever on the part the ad agency. I surmise that by then they had our ears and our purses. We now associate their product with a destination and recall that the outrageous enunciation of New York City. I suspect this humorous method worked. But on the flip side there were other messages I suspect. It was surprising to witness the apparent discomfort that these rugged trailblazers were having with learning about a distant land. A place they had yet to venture. They had noticeable trepidation. Why of course it’s unfamiliar territory. The cowboy’s seemed to be in shock and awe. Seemingly their experiences and bravado belied their truth. These trailblazing gun totting cowboys possibly being timid seemed strange? “Umph, ain’t that a contradiction?” (I could hear you saying that!) Yes, my friends even for rough, tough people unknown places can be frightening, no matter the proximity! It’s the bigger than life fact of the unknown. In defense of these cowboys and often being timid regarding the unknown- they had no frame of reference. They simply knew New York City was far from their familiar prairies. Awe, but there was one who dared to venture out. Thank God for the courageous heart! For those that step out on faith and score! This unknown cowboy’s tenacity to venture out makes me think of the countless scriptures that assure us that God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, but a spirit of power/courage, love and a sound mind/clear thinking! (2 Timothy 1:7) It’s evident that when we are with God we are safe-complete.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts,
and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7
It blesses our spirits when we realize that often like the timid and the free spirited cowboy our authentic spirits yearn to move beyond the familiar frontier borders and when we do often it’s rewarding! Our horizons are expanded and life lessons occur that richly bless us. As Pauline Wilson aptly penned in her lyrics, “you’ve got to follow your road, follow your road…”
Well let’s fast forward to our recent drive from Florida to Connecticut one mile at a time, crossing one state border after another. Our rocking-over packed vehicle was filled to the interior roof with essentials for starting anew. (At least until the moving van arrived.) Onlookers must have wondered where are they headed? Well the journey wasn’t for the faint at heart! Surely we were capturing and living out our spiritual urban cowboy and cowgirl experience. Truly it’s been a long awaited sojourn. This again is a heartfelt journey that we’d never before traveled, but earnestly longed for.We were reminded in prayer to shake the dust off our feet and push fear aside. Scripture has assured us that God had gone before us and made room for our arrival. We’re anticipating ministry in places and spaces we’d never seen; excited about seeing more of God-realizing His plan over our lives and others. Like our ancestors and many others we desire witnessing again the Holy Spirit first hand. The 2 day drive was long and packing was labor intensive! But so much and many awaited us! God rubbed stamped the journey-it was confirmed through the many expressions of kindness experienced before and during our destination!
It was comical but true, almost at our destination’s end; finally seeing theNew York City and Connecticut highway traffic signs, and then being in a traffic jam. Yep, for 90 minutes not being able to move. (Imagine instead of an hours delay, suffering through years of being at a standstill? You are ready to move forward and can’t!) The traffic was nothing like I imagined for a Sunday afternoon! Instead traffic halted before moving toward the George Washington Bridge. It didn’t matter if drivers selected the upper level or lower level, all roads converged towards the toll booths! (Pay up!) Mind you this was the route we believed was necessary to reach our destination. There we were seeing our destination in view and stuck! What to do? The answer was to simply wait! Wait our turn and proceed when an opening occurred. It was just that simple! Friends, we are headed somewhere like the brave cowboy! And so are you! So as you embrace your call and are sailing, driving, galloping, trotting, trekking, moving steadily and facing an occasional interruption in plans-be encouraged by God’s leading and Pauline Wilson’s Follow Your Road.
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
— the things God has prepared for those who love him—
1 Corinthians 2:9
Shared in Love, Linda Mose Meadows; Blogger, Motivational Speaker and Inspirational Author of: Destined To Receive: Reflections and Devotionals Celebrating The Love of God (Createspace, 2013) and Blessedness of Believing A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises (Tate Publishing, 2007)