Storms, Cows & Buffalo

by Ray Reuter on August 13, 2015

buffaloI recently heard a story that illustrates the choices we can make when stormy “key moments” come our way.

Colorado has a unique climate that allows for both cows and buffalo to roam freely. Cows and buffalo are similar in many ways, but there is one distinction that is worthy of noting as it is instructional.

Storms in Colorado can be unpredictable given the terrain of the mountain range. The Rocky Mountains are a natural barrier allowing only the mightiest of storms to come over the ridge into eastern Colorado and western Kansas. When a storm is coming, cows and buffalo respond very differently.

When a storm approaches, cows will move east, away from the storm. The storm is coming from the west, the cows see it, so they head east and run away from it. Makes sense — hard to argue with that logical behavior. However, eventually that storm will catch up to the cows. That’s a problem … the fear and the avoidance of facing the storm causes cows to run. The cow hopes the storm goes away, and when it doesn’t, the cow is surprised with that reality. Optimism, wishful thinking, running away, avoiding the danger, looking away and pretending the storm is not there do not work.

In the case of the buffalo, they react the opposite. They head west, right into the storm. Directly heading into harm’s way is counter-intuitive … and brilliant! By moving toward the storm the impact of the storm is dramatically reduced.

When something bad, difficult, or fearful comes over the ridge, how do you respond? Do you respond like the cow, running away from the storm and hoping it chooses a different path, hoping it goes away? Or do you respond like a buffalo, going head-first into the storm with eyes wide open, knowing that facing challenges straight-on with courage and fortitude will ultimately lessen the significance and effects.

It is easy for us to justify and rationalize the logical cow behavior of running away from the tough and the  scary. I challenge us to be a buffalo — facing the storms and fears we are avoiding, moving towards them with faith and confidence, knowing that beyond the storm the clouds fade away and sunshine awaits.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Flor October 28, 2015 at 3:54 pm

In Mitre10. My 1.8yo was running up to me and into me siyang Bump! . He keep getting further away for a good running start.Soon he was running from the end of the aisle and would put his head down like a bull hahaha Then, on a running bump attempt he hit his head into the leg of a grumpy old man who he nearly knocked over. (ha ha He missed me)Jackson fell on the ground and laughed pointing at him siyang Big man! red shirt! ha ha gotta love kids


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