How opening your Bible is easier than opening a feed sack.

by Kevin on May 6, 2010

I need a stupid light in the barn.

It was after dark when I went out to feed the horses. I opened up the door and reached into the sack for the scoop. I found the scoop, but there was no feed in the sack. This is the cowboy equivalent of putting an empty milk jug in the refrigerator.

I shook my head and tried to think happy thoughts as one of my worst fears came forth. It’s dark. I’m all alone. And I have to try to open a feed sack in the dark. I can’t even open a feed sack in the daytime.

I reached down and tried to feel for the little piece of thread that keeps the sack closed. I am desperately praying that I have chosen the correct side. With a deep breath, I tug on the string.

I am one of those cowboys that when given a choice between heads or tails, which is a 50/50 chance, I will get it wrong 90% of the time. If I choose heads, then I know it will be tails. But if I know that it will be tails and I choose tails, then surely it will land on heads.

When I tug on the string, it breaks. Once again I have chosen incorrectly. I know that no one else in this entire world has gotten mad at a feed sack, but I make a pretty regular habit of it. When this happens, instead of just starting from the other end and opening it the right way, I just keep tryin’ to open it from the wrong end or I just get mad and tear the sack open like a sack of Doritos.

When I tear the sack, it doesn’t just tear across the top. The tearing action somehow rips open the space-time continuum and the tear dives all the way down the side of the sack. This causes all the feed to spill onto the floor and I don’t help matters by getting mad and slinging the rest of the feed all over the place as I take my anger out on the Purina sack.

With all that being said, I need a light in my feed room. I never think about it until it’s dark. When it’s dark, I can’t see the instructions that say, “Tear from this end.” That’s not to say that even in the light I look at those instructions. I never think about looking at the instructions until it’s too late.

A lot of people don’t read their Bibles because they claim they don’t know which end to start with. They tried reading it like a book, but they lost interest pretty quick. They have tried many different times to read and just found it too difficult. They didn’t understand what was being said. They didn’t understand who the people were or what was going on. It just seemed to get them frustrated because what they expected wasn’t what they were actually getting.

There are many types of Bible study methods out there like this on here – Five Simple Tools for Bible Study Beginners. They are all great and I urge people to use whatever method they feel comfortable with. But all in all, before you can begin to study the Bible, you have to make up your mind to read the Bible.

The Bible has everything that you will ever need to know. Many times I have read the Bible and not had any great flashing insights of wisdom. But later, when a certain situation comes up, it will remind me of something that I read.

If you expect to be magically given supernatural wisdom every time you read your Bible, then you are probably going about it the wrong way. Just trust in God to lead you. He knows what you need more than you do. Be open to that.

Unlike a feed sack, you can open the Bible from either end and not get it wrong. If you too have been strugglin’ with feed sacks in the dark, it’s time you had a little Light and Instruction in your life. If you are new to reading the Bible, go get you an easy to understand copy like the New International Version or the New Living Translation. God doesn’t care which one you have, He just wants you to read.

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  • Man…I’m new to your site (this is the second article I’ve read), but I’ll be back a lot. Your writing is great.

    You’re right on about the “flashes of wisdom.” It took me a while to get over the idea that if I was reading my Bible the right way, then I would suddenly see a light from Heaven and hear angels singing and the house would start shaking as my head filled with profound insights about the inner workings of the universe. That hasn’t happened yet.

    It’s easy to forget that while the Bible IS the Word of God, it’s full of history, poetry, and practical advice (like “where there are no cattle, the stable is clean”).

    • Kevin

      You are so right Chris. You comment gave me an idea for a new post. Cowboy Poetry of the Bible.

      • I look forward to reading it.

  • Why I am weeping over a torn sack of Purina feed? That was awesome.

    • Kevin

      My wife watches from the window every evening and is weeping with laughter by the time I come in. Feeding time at my ranch is a full contact sport.

      Thanks for the comment.

      • Now there’s an intriguing picture: feeding time as a full contact sport.

        I sympathise with the “weeping wife” though as mine does the same – worse still she encourages teh children to join her! ::SIGH::

        • Kevin

          Yeah, my wife likes to tell her friends, “Stand back girls, he’s all mine.” At this point they all erupt in laughter. I get no respect.

  • That’s so funny! And yes, we’ve all opened those stupid string closures wrong. Even when I tug on the “right” side it doesn’t work most of the time. That’s what pocket knives are for, IMO.

    I love the bible, but I can see why it’s so intimidating for a lot of people. Two things:

    First, the bible is not compiled in chronological order. A chronological bible is helpful, or you can do a search and find a chronological reading plan. It makes a lot more sense when you see everything happening as it happens in the time line.

    Second: Remember the bible is about Jesus. All of it, all the time. And the Jews (and God) did not spare the metaphor. There are a LOT of metaphors, double meanings, symbolism, literary devices, etc. in the bible. Keep that in mind and it will mean a lot more than it does on the surface. Forget about it and it’s still a good read, but more puzzling than necessary.

    Just subscribed to your site so I don’t miss anything! And who knew there were “cowboy churches?” :LOL: And I live in western SD and did not know this.

    Blessings, Cindy

    • Kevin

      Thanks for takin’ the time to visit. You are so right about all the symbolism and stuff.

      Isn’t it amazing how one passage can mean something the first time you read it and still mean more when you’ve read it for 20 years. God’s amazin’.

  • Kevin,

    Another great story with an important point! When I was first saved I devoured the Bible like a horse that just stumbled onto an open feed sack. I couldn’t get enough. Then after I while I thought I knewit all. Now some 28 years later I am just beginning to really appreciate its nurishment. The more I read and understand, the more I see I have yet to learn.
    –Richard

    • Kevin

      Thanks Richard…your words are words to live by.

  • I have enjoyed reading your post the past couple of days. I have added your blog to my reading list in Google reader. I just love your unique perspective. Plus I have never known a real cowboy. This is a big deal for me since that is what I wanted to be when I was young. It’s kinda like meeting the Lone Ranger. (lol)

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could get people familiar with the Word of God? May the Lord strengthen you as you continue to do his work and may he open doors through this blog that you otherwise would not have had.

    P.S. I appreciate the link!!!

    • Kevin

      I have enjoyed yours also…glad to get to know you.

      Take a vacation and come stay out at the ranch with us. There is nothing like watchin’ the sun come up from the back of a horse.

  • That’s funny. And though I have never opened a feed sack, I felt like I was right there with you in that barn. 🙂

    • Kevin

      Thanks for the comment Lara…I really enjoyed your blog today. Everyone should click on your name and read it.

      • Thanks for the “plug.” Blessings to you.

  • Dawn

    Thanks, brother!!! Love readin your stories. They hit so close to home. Hope you don’t mind me sharing~~ Bless ya, my friend~

  • Feed sacks were created by Satan to confound the cowboy. I like that comment about the rip diving down the side of the bag, makes me madder n’ wet hen. I have eliminated that problem by getting and old freezer, I just set the bag on the edge and dare it to rip! Sometimes I even talk to it, encouraging it to rip, knowing all I have to do is push it into the freezer.

    God reveals new insights into stuff I read in the bible years ago. Sometimes makes me sound smarter than I am, But I know that is God talking through me. Keep up the God work, brother!

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