A Yankee’s Travels to the South

By Ron Cook

Throughout the course of our lives, we all encounter what I call “Moses People.” These people come into our lives (like Moses did for the Israelites) and lead us out of our “Egypts” into the Promised Land. This is an interesting concept introduced to me by a preacher up in the mountains of Colorado. He emphasized that these people come when we need them. They walk with us on our journey for a way, but they do not always Passover with us to the next stage of our life (as Moses did not cross the Jordan with the Israelites into that Promised Land). I have seen this concept/experience repeated many times in my life. It has happened many times throughout my travels and always enriches my experiences.

A Moses Person that comes to mind is Ronnie Woodard. He saved me from an “entrenched” place on my own property (stuck up to my axles in the sand); he shared countless life-lessons through conversations and through his leadership as town mayor; his humor was a constant source of entertainment and mental banter. Another Moses rescued me from many clumsy situations. He found my first horse when it ran off, dismounting its young rider; he corralled all my horses, goats, donkeys and llamas twice and helped to return them to my ranch; he helped me rescue a horse I could not load into a trailer. Moses people just seem to be there when you need them.

I once had a carpenter partner who also had a double-doctorate in Physics and Math. Bill was absolutely amazing. Some of the homes we built together, and the homes he built for his wife and himself, were spectacular. I once knew a nun who started a retreat home, living totally on Divine Providence (relying on God for everything). How she made it from day to day was nothing short of a miracle! Sister Rosemary journeyed with me through a very difficult time in my life. My brothers, sisters and children have borne with me and been there to pick up the pieces of my travails many times, as well.

I sincerely believe that we all have these Moses People in our lives. Think about your life and see if this is not true. Think about the people who came along just when you needed them. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan Priest and teacher, reflects on this principle. He states that, “In life, we will all receive wounds and hurts. If we cannot find a way to make these “sacred wounds” that lead us through our own path of life, we will deny, disguise, and export these “hurts” to others. If we do not transcend our pain, we will transmit it.” I believe Moses people come in the most painful times of our lives to transcend us to our next level of existence … I have experienced this over and over again in my own life.

The lessons I have learned will stay with me forever. They will go with me wherever I travel in this life. I am probably not through with my gypsy days. I will move on and go where the wild wind blows, but all my “Moses” lessons will travel with me. The interesting thing about life is that we get these tests … and then later we come to understand what the lessons were.

Ronald Cook

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