It was probably mid-morning before we got everything set up, got the calves sorted off and started pregnancy checking the cows. My grandson Bryant, who was 5 years old at the time, watched us as we palpated the first few cows and he listened more closely than I thought as we talked about whether or not they were bred. Well, before long, the pen where we were turning the cows into was too crowded for him to be safe, so I sent him home. Later that day, Bryant returned just as we were palpating the last cows. He then watched as we ran a new herd bull into the chute to palpate and semen check him before turning him in with the cows to finish the breeding season. Just as the vet got about elbow deep into his work, Bryant quickly and eagerly asked, "Is he bred?"
My response was: "No son. Bulls don’t have babies." "Then why are you checking him?" he asked. From his perspective, I suppose that was a very good question! The process looked the same as what we did to the cows, but what we were hoping to find was much different. (If you do not know what is involved in palpating cows for pregnancy or bulls for breeding soundness, you can do a quick Internet search or call me and I will explain the process to you - then you will understand his question and where I am going with the rest of this story.)
As I write this article, it is 9/11/2013 - 12 years to the day since America was attacked by terrorists through the hijacking of four passenger planes, two of which destroyed the Twin Towers, one that flew into the Pentagon and the fourth (thanks to the bravery of citizens who found themselves in the midst of a horrible situation) crashed into a field in Pennsylvania before it was able to attack the White House. Thousands of Americans were killed in these attacks. Some lost their lives, some gave their lives, but every American and millions of other people around the world were forever changed as a result of these ruthless attacks and the aftermath that still follows. Today, as the world remembers the 12th anniversary of these attacks, the news channels are replaying the horrific accounts of that day and memorials are taking place all around the country, especially at the sites where the attacks occurred. The names of the dead are being recited. Family members are speaking about the love and the memories they have of those whom they lost. And, of course, all of the national politicians are gathering together on the steps of the Capitol to remember that day, to honor the dead and to lead the country in a "moment of silence."
As I sit here and watch each of the memorials being held at the specific sites and times that each plane crash occurred, and I listen to the political leaders in charge of each event lead the country in a "moment of silence," I cannot help but reflect back on that day in the cattle pens, and what Bryant must have been thinking when he asked me if the bull was pregnant.
If we were not looking for a calf in there, why were we elbow-deep up the rear end of a bull? Bryant had just seen us doing the same thing with all the cows searching for an unborn calf, so if we were not searching for a calf, why were going through what appeared to be the same motions on a bull? If we are not willing to acknowledge God’s sovereignty and call out to Him in prayer, why are we asking the nation to be quiet for a moment instead of asking them to pray? A "moment of silence" and a time of prayer may look the same on the outside, but the purpose, the audience and the results are radically different.
How is it that we as a country instead of boldly and openly praying to the one, holy, mighty, loving and just God for help, have allowed prayer to be reduced to just a mere "moment of silence"? The God whom our Founding Fathers boldly and proudly professed to be the God in whom we trust is the same God who created the heavens and the earth, who sent His Son Jesus to die for the sins of the world and to conquer death for us through His resurrection from death. He is the same God who sent us His Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us. He is the only One able to answer our prayers. He is our only hope. He is not just one of many gods; He is the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords. Yet, somehow and for some reason, we have turned away from Him and have reduced prayer and communion with God to just a "moment of silence." What are we afraid of? What are we hoping to accomplish? Why are we going through the motions if we are not sincerely looking for help or answers? Why are we looking for help and answers in places where no help or answers reside? Back to Bryant’s question and reasoning, if we are not hoping to find a baby, why do we have our arms two feet up a bull’s butt?
That may be a little crude wording, but think about it. What exactly is it we expect to accomplish when instead of making our requests known to God as He invited and commanded us to do, we just stand still and be silent. We restrain from calling out to Him, refuse to even mention His Name or acknowledge His existence, and we surely dare not mention the name of His son Jesus lest we offend someone, yet we hope He or some other god will honor our "moment our silence" and bless our nation!
He has promised us, if we humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, He will hear our prayers, forgive our sin and heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14) He has pleaded with us to cast our cares and concerns upon Him because He cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7) He told us through the writings of the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 2:1-5, "I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men .... For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as ransom for all ...."
We cannot call ourselves Christians nor can we believe America to be a Christian nation if we continue to live in our sin and neglect and/or reject the Lordship of Jesus Christ. If we reject Christ, we reject God the Father, and we reject the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit. He will answer our prayers when we come to Him in repentance and faith, but He will turn a deaf ear to "moments of silence" rejecting His authority and Lordship.
It is time to wake from our slumber. During this season of Thanksgiving, let’s break the silence and call the nation back to PRAYER!