The truth about truth and buffalo

I don’t know much about buffalo, but they make me snicker. At the front end they’re all bravado: massive shoulders, barrel chest and beady eyes. But turn them around and their hindquarters are only slightly larger than my own, with a wannabe lion’s tail tacked on. God smiled, creating buffalo, I suspect.

A buffalo herd ranged just west of the town where I used to work. Sometimes, when I saw them grazing close to the highway, I stopped the car and walked to the wire fence to take photos. “I wouldn’t do that, if I were you,” our daughter said one day. “They stampede!”

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A friend of a friend, she said, was travelling a rural road near her home one day, and noticed a cloud of dust up ahead. A grader, she suspected. The grader would have been preferable. Dead ahead, getting closer by the second, charged a herd of stampeding buffalo. Shoulder to shoulder, ditch to ditch, tails up. And they didn’t look inclined to yield.

It’s not a position a girl finds herself in every day. Buffalo Control 101 wasn’t an elective at university that year, I imagine, but I’m sure it didn’t take long to realize that getting out and holding up her hand was probably not her best option. So she did what came more naturally — slammed on the brakes, switched off the ignition and dove for cover in the only place there was any — under the steering wheel.

Sure enough, those massive front ends hauled those wimpy behinds up and over her car, squashed it flat, and carried on, waving their tails behind them. When the sound of the last hoof had died, and she realized she hadn’t, she picked up her cell phone, which (happily) remained unsquashed in her pocket, and called home. Imagine that conversation:

“Hi, Mom, Dad. A herd of buffalo just flattened my car. I’m in a tight spot. Could you come and get me, please?”

Apparently they laughed, but she must have convinced them, because they got in their car and headed to the rescue — down the same road. They’d only travelled a few miles before noticing an approaching dust cloud. A grader, they suspected, except graders don’t have massive shoulders and wimpy tails. Fortunately, they avoided being trampled and drove on to rescue their stranded daughter.

The road to our summer camping spot passes another buffalo herd. So far I haven’t stopped for a photo op. I’ve learned the truth about buffalo, you see. I believe it, and it’s changed how I do things. That’s the thing about truth, in matters of faith and life. We can accept and act on it or reject it and risk consequences.

Here’s another truth I’ve accepted, a statement from Jesus himself: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” If you accept that truth, it will change everything.

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