Ewww…calf slobber. I didn’t even know calves did this—until I had my own, that is. Buddy is definitely the slimiest, but Little Red Rose comes in a close second on most days. It’s pretty disgusting, really. I mean, all we’re wanting to do is fill their tummies with nutritious food, and this is our reward—sticky, foamy, slimy fingers. Blech.
At first, I thought maybe it was our technique, so I tried a few different ways to hold the bottle. Nope. Not the technique. It’s just part of the overall calf-feeding experience I guess. Gross. The only way we could potentially avoid this bit of nastiness is to just not give them their bottles. Momentarily tempting, but totally not an option.
Life has lots of sliminess, doesn’t it? I mean, we try to do the right thing by taking care of our spouses, kids, homes, extended family members and even friends. Sometimes, we get slimed in the process. It’s uncomfortable. Awkward. Even unfair.
But, it’s life.
We’re lucky when the slime is only physical—dirty diapers, baby urp, crusty dishes, a full litterbox. Unfortunately, the slime is sometimes emotional—stickety-gooey strings of unkind words, unspoken thank yous, eye rolls and rejections. Those things hurt—especially when they come from people we are trying to love.
We can’t change the people around us (which sometimes seems unfortunate, doesn’t it?). We can only work on our own issues. (And, believe me, we do have our own issues!) We can only show the love that we would like to receive—the love we have, indeed, received from our Heavenly Father. He was slimed beyond anything any of us have ever experienced, and He responded with love. That’s amazing to me. Honestly, if someone spit at me or at one of my children, I would be hard-pressed to look upon them with compassion. I think I would be more tempting to give it right back to them where it would hurt the most. That’s just my nature.
Fortunately, when I gave my life to Jesus, He gave me His nature to help me through the sludge and the slime. There is Power in His Spirit than yields remarkable gifts like patience, love, peace, kindness, gentleness and self-control. Yeah, those things are ours in Christ. Pretty cool, huh? He equips us to respond with His nature, which leaves us without a good excuse to do otherwise.
Did I mention that today is the last day these little bovine babies get three bottles? Starting tomorrow, we’ll ratchet down their liquid nutrition to twice daily. After a week of that, we’ll take it down another notch to one bottle a day. Just like the slime of bottle-feeding calves is temporary, so is the slime of living in this broken world. He’s preparing a new place for us, and it’s gonna be amazing!
“Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (Heaven!) until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory.” –Ephesians 1:13b-14, italics mine