We made the drive from Corpus and arrived right in time to get on the tour bus. We were a few minutes late but they let us on. We could not believe the bus was not full in the middle of the afternoon to tour a ranch. What in the world would people have to do besides that?!
We learned that there were over 60 cowboys hired, just to tend to the Santa Gertrudis cattle on the ranch. Brush work, fence work, feeding, anything else, outside of animal care was hired on through contract labor. These cattle receive the best of the best in feeding programs, fencing, doctoring, grazing, anything. What better place could a calf be born into?! Very few, if any. These cattle are chosen! I mean, people pay $500 for a leather bag, with their brand on it. These cattle lack no good thing.
We also learned that Mr. & Mrs. King had five children. They lost one son to pneumonia, two daughter married, following prep school and stayed up north and made their lives, one son was uninterested in ranching and chose to farm. Mr. King alloted him a generous amount of land and finances to get his farming business into full swing. This left one daughter who loved the land and wanted to farm and ranch. Clarification: one girl, out of four living children wanted to stay and run the 825,000 acre cattle operation. Justin and I looked at each other wide-eyed. Dang. Some girls have all the luck!
If you will note in one particular picture, the kid across the aisle from us was not really into it, ha! I think he woke up once and that is when the tour guide slammed on the brakes and brought the bus to a screeching halt in order to show the guests a red hawk. Yea, Justin and I were in awe too, but in a different way. We wanted to ask why she would stop for a hawk, when there were thousands of cattle to see!
Anyhow, after leaving the ranch Justin and I drove in silence for a while. It was such a beautiful place, and honestly, it made you hungry for a lifelong opportunity to ranch all day, everyday, for the rest of your life. Once we did gather our thoughts, we talked about the Mr. and Mrs. King's kids, and just why they would pass up an opportunity to run a working ranch like that.
It caused me to think of a couple of spiritual implications that correspond. Those cattle, were born into luxury. They had no say in it. But they were born into one of the greatest lives a calf could ever hope for. (If calves hope for good lives, I do not know.) And those kids. They were born into such extreme wealth and opportunity, not by their own choosing, but by the work their father had done. I guess you see where this is going?!
Just as to be a "King Ranch" calf, or a "King Ranch" child would be an incredible way of life, not perfect, not void of hardship, but in really good hands. But so is being a child of The King! As children of God, we are born into incredible wealth, not always monetary, but wealth, extreme none the less. We are born into a legacy that began long before we were created. We were born into a story, and were offered to play a magnificent role just as Mr. King's children were. Do we recognize the wealth and opportunity and abundant life our Father offers us as Christians? I do not always live up or out of my potential in Christ. But I want to!
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
We have a good Dad, may we live out the life He has called us to. After all, He owns the cattle on a thousand hills! -Psalm 50:10