Chewing our Cud

I should probably check with my brother Wayne on this, but if a farmer wants his cattle to grow and produce, it’s best that they don’t have to use up energy searching for grass.  It’s best if a browsing cow can nibble constantly on lush pasture until its stomach is full, then lies down regurgitates what it has eaten and chews “meditatively” on its cud until the cud is fully assimilated.

In down-to-earth Hebrew, to meditate is to chew one’s cud.  That’s a helpful image for a person to carry out Psalm 1. “Oh, the joys of those who…delight in the word of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.”  To constantly graze on the word is to fill oneself with the goodness of the Lord.  As psalm 34:8 invites, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!”

In whatever way we choose to graze, one verse, one chapter, the discipline of a reading program, printed devotions, a hymn, or in prayer; whether a psalm or story or a letter of Paul or Peter, nibble away.  Then mull it over, regurgitate it until it becomes fully assimilated.  As my favorite prayer suggests, “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest.” Look to the cow as an example. 

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