Do You Grab a Bull by the Horns, or a Dog By The Ears?

I grew up on a farm in the country. I didn't have a job stocking shelves at Walmart, flipping burgers at McDonalds, or slinging newspapers for the local news. My job was built in. Kinda like room and board. I didn't have a curfew in high school, I just had to be at work Saturday and Sunday mornings at 4am. I quickly learned it didn't want to stay out past 11:00 the night before.

Through growing up in this culture I had a built in love for horses, cowboys, and rodeos. One of my favorite things to watch at a rodeo was the steer wrestling contest. The cow was released from the chute, often with a little electric shock on his hindquarters to "encourage" him along.

Time starts. The cowboy spurs his horse out of the box and jumps from his saddle onto the steers back at 20mph or more. He then grabs the bull by the horns and cranks his head around until the steer's momentum and the cowboys good technique and muscle flips the cow over onto his back. Time! All of this happens in a matter of seconds, and a real professional at the sport is incredibly entertaining to watch.

Throughout my life, there have been many opportunities that have come my way where I have needed to grab the proverbial bull by the horns. I need to deal with something quickly, give it all my attention, and resolve it in a timely manner. I believe this is a good quality in a person.

My daily Bible reading plan today took me through Proverbs 26:17. "Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears." This is a very different proposition than taking the bull by the horns. Now that you have the dog by the ears, what are you going to do with it? Why on earth would you want to get into that position? Now you have an angry dog on your hands, and nowhere to run. Why would you just grab some passing dog by the ears? He might be gentle and playful, or he might eat you for dinner. You don't know this dog... you have no business getting "involved" with it.

I have been guilty of taking a dog by the ears multiple times in my life. In fact, while I was in the Marine Corps I earned a poor reputation of walking up on a conversation and forcing myself into the middle of it. It didn't take long before conversations would fizzle out the minute I walked up on the group. It was my own fault... I had chose to grab the dog by the ears too many times, and now I had to deal with the consequences.

What about you? Are you a person who "meddles in quarrels not his own?"

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff Milo. I'm glad to see you blogging more often!