March 7, 2018
A song that was popular in my youth included the lyrics, “I’m a roaming cowboy riding all day long, tumbleweeds around me sing their lonely song. Nights underneath the prairie moon, I ride along and sing this tune: See them tumbling down, pledging their love to the ground, lonely but free I’ll be found – drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.”
I grew up watching tumbleweeds driven along by the wind with no direction or mind of their own – just drifting. The cowboy in the song appears content to be just like them. The remainder of the song indicates someone who thinks only about today, forgets the past and does not concern himself with tomorrow. I do not hear much ambition or motivation in “drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.”
Another song back then went like this: “I want to live fast, love hard, die young and leave a beautiful memory.” That is far different from the life of “tumbling tumbleweeds,” but probably much more dangerous. At least the cowboy riding alone on the prairie was not hurting anyone. But the fast-living fellow sounds to me like a selfish people user. I do not think he took time to ponder his actions because he was too busy doing whatever he liked.
There is a balance between quiet submission to the way life is and a focus on making something worthwhile of who we are. Perhaps the writer of Proverbs would direct the cowboy to the ant that works hard to prepare for winter. And the writer of Psalms would tell the other fellow to “be still and know that God is God.”
Our life should include constant evaluation of what is excellent, along with quiet submission to God’s will for us day by day. We do not want to just “tumble along” through our days. We need to trust in God and not depend on our own understanding if we want to be remembered as someone whose life was a “work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thessalonians 1:3).
Pastor Bill Ehmann