This last fall we had the privilege of hosting a collegiate running camp retreat. During their free time some of the athletes decided to play frisbee golf, the only problem was that Tig didn’t know she was supposed to leave the frisbee where it lands, instead she kept getting the frisbee and bringing it back to the frisbee throwers. Fortunately Tig is good at making friends and was quickly forgiven. In case you haven’t met her, Tig is a working cow dog, half Border Collie and half Hangin Tree Cowdog, in other words she’s extremely intelligent and athletic. She can jump about 10ft into the air, she can run almost 30mph uphill, and she can load a herd of cows into a trailer almost by herself. Tig is also as tough as they come, she’s been kicked and stepped on by angry cows, rolled down hills, she once was even run over by a utility vehicle and has managed to walk it all off. She is an athlete by every definition. But despite her extreme physical abilities she never forgets what’s most important.
At any moment Tig can be found all around camp playing and hanging out with kids of all ages and abilities. Besides her physical and mental aptitude, Tig has one special gift that most of us lack, she can’t see herself. Of course she has eyes and can see her reflection but what she can’t see is that her physical skills and abilities far outrank almost anyone around her. When Tig meets someone she doesn’t wonder if they can keep up with her on a run, she wonders if they want to play or rub her belly. She doesn’t know the difference between a popular NCAA athlete and an awkward middle schooler who struggles to fit in. She sees them all the same. Although the Bible tells us many things about various peoples’ physical attributes, there is one verse that directly reminds us of what’s important, 1 Samuel 16:7 when God tells us that rather than caring about our outward appearance, he looks at our hearts. God gives us all various toolkits of talents and passions, but in the end he leaves it up to us to decide whether or not to use those skills to glorify ourselves or him.