Still Believing

Posted January 26, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Last night, despite my truck having been in the shop for a week and my wariness about it’s drive-worthiness, Austin and I made it to Idaho. After snagging a parking spot with easy exit so I could make it to my morning delivery, I entered the mom and pop truck stop to have a look around. 

Even though I’d stocked up on food before leaving Salt Lake City, I was in the mood to be around people so I headed for the all night restaurant and grabbed a booth. The place was nothing special. Looked like it was built in the 1950′s. So did most of the people, both customers and workers. They even piped in country songs that were popular when I was born.

Halfway through my chicken fingers and tator tots, two young men sauntered in and took the booth directly in front of me. They were as conspicuous as the Gerber baby at a dentures convention. Apparently, I was not the only one who noticed. After a sudden crash of ceramic plates to the floor and a deafening shrill from behind the counter, my waitress came running over to them and hugged the big member of this Mutt and Jeff duo.

“I knew you’d come back,” she uttered between tears and gasps. “While everybody else didn’t think so, I was still believing. And here you are.” “Here I am, mama.” He finally managed.  The brute swiped a tear away from his eye as he stood and embraced his mother.

I allowed them their moments of bonding but after what seemed life forever to me, the curiosity in me escaped and I did what I’m so famous at doing. I began bombarding them with questions. I just had to get the scoop in this joyful mother and son reunion. When Chipper was a boy, his estranged father took him and fled. That’s kidnapping in the state of Idaho, but although a manhunt ensued, they never tracked them down. All of Evie’s friends and relatives eventually gave up hope that Chipper would ever return. After all, he was only eight and even if he could get away, he wouldn’t remember where to come back to.  But not Evie. “No matter what they said, I told them I was still believing that Chipper would come back. I just knew I’d see him again.”

I asked Chipper how he was able to pull it off. 

“Well, first of all, I turned eighteen last week and as of that day, he couldn’t stop me. For for ten years, I saved every penny I got. I worked mowing grass, washing cars and anything else that would pay me. I stashed the money away where he couldn’t find it so that whenever I could, I’d be able to fly back to here. I waited until I was legally an adult so I could be on my own and not be taken by DCF.

“Last week on my birthday, I called the police while he was passed out drunk and when they came to our house in Minnesota, I told them what had happened. They checked it out and he still had an outstanding warrant. So they arrested my dad. I took his truck since I knew he wouldn’t be needing it and drove back as fast as I could.” Chipper then turned to his mother and said, “I told you I’d come back.” Evie hugged him again and said,”That was the last thing you said and I never stopped believing that.” 

Before the moment Chipper and his still nameless friend entered the lazy diner as the Idaho sun dropped below the horizon, it had been a normal day. Nothing special. Nothing noteworthy. Or so I thought. It made me realize nothing is ordinary. Nothing routine or mundane. God is forever orchestrating reunions, working miracles, and manipulating the entire universe to bring about His will.  As I walked back to my truck, I felt secure and blessed that through all the difficult circumstances I’ve faced in my life, like Evie, I’m still believing. I understood what a gift that truly is. 

I believe.

I believe in miracles. I believe in the goodness of others. I believe in the resiliency of the human spirit. No matter how tragic life becomes, I still believe. My hope and prayer is that you do, too.

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Matters of the Heart

Posted January 24, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Those of you who follow me in social media (if you aren’t, why not?), you know that week before last I injured my knee. I slipped in ice while performing my pretrip inspection on my truck at 4am in Alabama. I endured several days of serious pain. It was my clutch knee.

Last Friday night, I took Austin (my brand new Freightliner Cascadia Lightweight truck) in for his very first oil change in Amarillo, Texas. On Sunday afternoon, Austin broke down in the middle of Wild West-and wild wind-Wyoming. God always provides. If you’ve ever driven on Interstate 80 across Wyoming, you know there is nothing there but it just so happened that when my truck broke down, it was at one of very few exits. Literally.  AND, there was one thing at that exit: a TA truck stop.

I coasted down the ramp, to the right into the truck stop (I didn’t stop for the stop sign. Nothing was coming), and into a parking space at the truck stop. I remained there for two days until the folks at my company had Austin towed 100+ miles into Salt Lake City to the Freightliner dealership.

Today is day seven of this adventure and I’m still in a hotel. The week has been a rollercoaster of events. My emotions have run the gammit from patient to furious, positive to hopeless, determined to wanting to chuck it all and pull Dakota (my bicycle) out of storage and take to the open road on him again.

Those who know me know I don’t have family. I can’t go cry on sis’s shoulder, get a hug from dad or have big bro punch someone’s lights out. But, I have you and so many of you have reached out in support. Emails, phone calls, texts, FB posts. The outpouring has been amazing! Thank you, by the way. I wouldn’t have been able to endure this week without you. But even with that, I have to admit there have been moments where I looked out to the surrounding snow capped mountains and felt all alone in a great big world.

Then it hit me. I feel and sense emotion on a very deep level. God gave me that gift so that I can understand what others go through on an experiential level. That way I can help them. He showed me decades ago that I cannot show others the way unless I’ve traveled that road. Remembering that took my attention off my troubles- and my broken down brand new truck- and to those I serve… and those whom I’ve never met who need to be encouraged.

I wanted to quit. I admit it. I wanted to tell the wonderful company I work for and the dealership who built Austin to take their broken down truck and shove it. But one thing stopped me. I’m not a quitter. I wonder how many people have been driven to the brink of their emotional cliff and jumped. I know some. I’m sure you do, too. I also know most of them regretted having made that decision.

I’m writing this in the lobby of the hotel in a nice comfy chair in front of the fireplace with a view of the rocky mountains. The ambiance is wonderful but the main reason I do it is when I’m all alone up in my room, my thoughts turn negative and my positive attitude that keeps me strong begins to crumble. I begin to suffer all alone in the silence of my room.

I know there are thousands of people out there who are doing just that. They don’t tell anyone they are suffering. Their tears are not seen. Their hearts cry at moments when others are not around. Their sad and painful matters of the heart are not shared with anyone. One day, they just disappear… or die a lonely death.

What I’ve been going through this last week has nothing to do with trucks, oil changes, my company or Freightliner. It has everything to do with my purpose to help others overcome… and to become. Someone has to know how they feel. They need to find the way through the emotional quagmire to freedom and then go back to show others the way.

I’m an encourager. I know that. It’s my God-given purpose. The Heartbeat of America blog will continue and I’ll continue to bring you stories from the amazing people I meet. In addition to that, I’m also going to share insights with you on matters of the heart. I’ve been working for a while on a new podcast that will be uplifting, encouraging and hopefully will help you see life’s events in a different light. I’m also considering BlogTalk radio.

I really need your help. You have all been so faithful and supportive both during my Road to Freedom Tour, and with my trucking adventure which I unwittingly termed Road to Freedom 2.0. Little did I know at the time that title would be so profound.

In the weeks and months to come, I will be sharing some deep things of the heart. Those things that pluck at your heart strings. I’ll share hope in the midst of what appears to be hopelessness. I’ll share stories of those who have overcome… stories of triumph, my own and those of others I meet along my journey.

If this resonates with you, I would like to ask you to help me in the following ways:

Please pray that God will lead those who need to hear this message to the blog, the podcast and any other media outlet that opens up.

Please share the blog with others in your social circles and ask them to pray about doing the same.

Please comment on the blog. I will do my best to respond to each comment as my life on the road allows. I utilize a service called LiveFyre to filter out spam from my comments so you’ll have to sign up once and be approved by me to leave comments. It’s not an email capture and sell scam. LifeFyre is my spam filter service. It’s completely safe for you to give your information to.

That would mean so much to me as I ratchet up my blog a notch or two and include matters of the heart. So many of you have asked for this. God is showing me it’s time to do it.

Thank you all for being such faithful supporters during the Road to Freedom Tours. Your encouragement has kept me going forward, helping to heal the wounded, encourage the discouraged and bring the truth of God’s joy to a hurting nation. You honor me.

This blog post is long today but for some reason, I cannot bring myself to apologize for its length. God bless you, my friends.




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When the Unexpected Happens

Posted January 19, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I spent last Friday night in a truck stop getting my brand new truck’s first oil change. On Sunday, after enduring extremely high winds in Wild West Wyoming, a “check engine” light came on. Immediately afterward, my “stop engine” light came on. Since I was driving right into the evening sun, I could not read any of my gauges.

As God would have it, I was right at one of the very few exits in the middle of nowhere. And, there was one of a handful of truck stops right there. I coasted off the exit ramp, into the truck stop and pulled my truck away from the sun. A quick inspection of my gauges revealed a serious loss of oil pressure. It was almost at zero.

I was stranded inthe middle of nowhere with a delivery appointment in six hours and I was a hundred miles from my destination. And, as luck would have it, my Auxillary Power Unit (APU) also died, meaning I would have no heat in my truck. It was cold out. After all, it is January and I was in the mountains of Wyoming.

I made the necessary calls and within four hours, they’d located another driver to come pick up my load. It was only a few hours late for delivery. Not bad considering where I was. In the meantime, I would babysit his trailer until he could get back to retrieve it and deliver his load which coincidentally was being delivered to the same place mine was.

I had very intermittent internet connection on all of my electronic devices which made communicating with anyone (including my dispatcher) quite a challenge. I did have phone service… most of the time. And, to top off the adventure, an unexpected two inches of snow fell overnight.

Lovely. Just lovely.

Some of my friends and fellow truckers thought I was taking things very lightly. After all, in the world of trucking, “if the truck ain’t rolling, you ain’t making money.” But I wasn’t upset. I wasn’t concerned. There was nothing more that I could do other than what I was doing. It was just one of those things.

If getting upset would have repaired my truck and gotten me back up and running, I’d have tried that. But “upset” is not a certified mechanic and therefore could not help. It would have been useless. So I went into the restaurant and had a nice, hot meal. I went to the trucker’s lounge to write blog posts. I caught up on reading and writing I’d not been able to do for days because I’d been running hard since coming off home time.

What am I saying? Two things really. Life happens. It rains on the just and the unjust and if I have a breath in me, life is going to happen. Secondly, getting upset about it only makes things worse. I become miserable and I make others that way as well. Why do that? It’s destructive.

When the unexpected happens–and it always does–I just make the best of it. Roll with the flow. Do what I can and put the rest in God’s hands. It’s life and it’s ALWAYS and adventure. 

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I Bend But I Don’t Break… Much

Posted January 16, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Last night I arrived at my fuel stop in Van, Texas eight minutes before I would turn into a pumpkin. I only had that many minutes I could legally drive for the day so I found a parking spot and decided to explore. Loves was wedged between a local Barbecue buffet and a family style restaurant. I checked them both out but finally opted for veggies.

While walking through the truck stop, I almost ran right into Ralph. Standing upright, he would have been almost seven feet tall but he was permanently bent at the waist. As a result, he stood less than four. He was busy grabbing a soda, snacks and whatever else he felt he needed to keep him going. 

I expected Ralph to exit to the auto parking lot after making his purchases but he did just the opposite. He lumbered out the back door to the fuel isle for trucks. 

Ahhh, a ride-along, I thought to myself… until he began to climb into his rig. I had to stop him. And with my typical fascination, I bombarded him with questions like, what happened to you? Is it difficult to drive? Are  you in pain? Do you have any limitations?

Ralph broke his back in a car accident almost twenty years ago. He was hit by a drunk driver at speeds over 100 miles per hour. His wife was killed and he was pronounced crippled for the remainder of his natural life. Ralph was not pleased with that prognosis and decided to reject it. 

He worked very hard to overcome. Enduring excruciating rehab, he was finally able to walk again. Unfortunately, the fusion in his back failed, leaving him permanently bent at the waist.  He has a really good sense of humor about it though. He says he has a birds eye view of the floor. He doesn’t miss many pennies that people drop.

Ralph also loves to be a trucker. His odd shape is perfect for driving. He is in the exact position his body needs to be in to sit at the wheel all day long. While most drivers get stiff and need to stretch, it doesn’t bother Ralph in the least. Others give him a wide berth because they are afraid they’re going to hurt him. 

“How much pain are you in?” I just had to know.

“No more than you are. I’m sure at your age you have aches and pains. Well, so do I. Hey, it’s nothing more than I would have had anyway. It’s just different. That’s all.”

Ralph is a shining example of overcoming adversity, sorrow and enormous loss. He lost his health, his mobility, the love of his life. As if to mock him, the cure made him worse. Yet today Ralph had a smile on his face, eagerly embraced the day and didn’t give it a second thought when he had to ask for my help to get his soda off the top shelf. 

On the driver’s side of Ralph’s truck, he’d placed the inscription: “I bend but I don’t break… much.” The truth is he’s been broken more than most of us will ever endure and yet he continues on his journey as if nothing bad ever happened to him. He embraces life and takes tragedy in stride. He is alive an well living life at 90 degrees. He cherishes each breath he takes and doesn’t take anything for granted. 

My life is greater because I bumped into Ralph last night. Hopefully, yours is as well. 


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I’m Eleanor, but Not Roosevelt

Posted January 14, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

As I waited for my load assignment coming off home time, I wandered into the Walmart. And, as is my habit, I made my way to the book section. I always want to see if my friends’ books are there. I have a bad habit of browsing sideways and am notorious for getting so caught up with the titles, I’m constantly bumping into people. If that was illegal, I’d have gone to prison a long time ago. Such was the case today.

As I raised up to apologize for colliding with another shopper, my eyes connected with Eleanor. She is a lovely teenager with Downs Syndrome. Before I could utter words of apology, she blurted out, “I’m Eleanor, but not Roosevelt.”

“Well, Miss Eleanor, I’m so sorry I bumped into you. I wasn’t paying attention.”

“No you weren’t. Know how I could tell? Because you were looking down and I’m way up here.”

I was instantly captivated by the sparkle in her eye when she told how she could easily see I was going to hit her. She was just as emphatic when she repeatedly told me she was NOT Eleanor Roosevelt.

“Eleanor, do you know who Eleanor Roosevelt was?”

“She was a very important and smart woman. That’s why my mama named me Eleanor. That’s how I knew you were going to run into me.”

“That’s RIGHT! You’re mama sure gave you a great name.”

Eleanor’s life is simple. She is happy, something conspicuously missing in today’s America. She takes things in stride, like a stranger bumping into her in the book isle at Walmart. She’s never met a stranger and she finds the good in everyone. 

“You make my heart happy and warm, like hot Krispy-Kreme donuts,” she said of me.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I just had to ask.

“I want to be a helper.”

“A helper?”

“Yes, I want to help people with whatever they need me to help them with. My heart jumps up and down in my chest when I do that.” She placed her hand over her heart as if she were going to say the Pledge of Allegiance. “My heart is right here. Did you know that?”

“Well I do now, and I bet it’s really big.”

“You’re funny. What’s your name?”



“Yes, Reba, but not McEntire.”

“Like Eleanor, but not Roosevelt.! We’re just alike!”

Eleanor erupted into uncontrollable laughter that flooded my heart. Instantly, we were holding our sides in the middle of Walmart. For whatever reason, because our first names are also names of famous people, she and I made a connection. At that instant we were of kindred spirit. After several minutes we said out goodbyes. I watched as Eleanor walked off recounting the entire scene to her all-knowing mom. 

It was just a brief moment in time that played a song on the strings of my heart. Eleanor, but not Roosevelt, enriched me today. Thrilled my heart. Bathed my soul in warmth and sincerity that could only have come from her. As I walked back to my truck, I realized her life’s goal will indeed be fulfilled if she just stands in the presence of others. She will surely help anyone she is around just by being herself.

Thank you Eleanor, but not Roosevelt… From your new friend, Reba, but not McEntire.




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Larger Than Life!

Posted January 12, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Last Thursday as I drove  up and down the endless hills of Appalachia, I listened to satellite radio as the Grand Ole Oprey paused and paid tribute at the passing of a legend. At 4’11″, Little Jimmy Dickens was an icon around the Oprey, and all of country music. As a little girl, I watched the old black and white TV as he sang his funny songs. I remember thinking his guitar was bigger than he was… until I looked in the mirror.

This incredible Christian man played a huge role in my life that most of you are completely unaware of. Most of you know me as a normal size person but the truth is, just like Jimmy, I was 4’11″ when I graduated high school. With very small features, I’ve had to live as a little person in a great big world all my life. I endured ruthless teasing and chiding from schoolmates and neighborhood kids.

When I started playing the guitar, one look in the mirror revealed that I was as abnormal as the great Little Jimmy Dickens. But I noticed he was always so happy. So jovial, he never seemed to let his size bother him. Truly, he was larger than life. One day I figured if he could do it, so could I. From that day on, I decided to not let my physical stature have any impact on what I wanted to accomplish in life. I charged forward with fervor and a new commit.

I played sports that all the experts say I was too small for. Although I never scored a single point in three years of high school basketball, I held county records for steals. I was so short I could easily sneak up on the taller players and snatch the ball right away from them.  I landed a tennis scholarship and went to college even though I only stood twenty inches taller than the net. 

To this day I have to buy my gloves and hats in the children’s section of stores, as well as glasses and sunglasses. My bone structure remains tiny. One day while my dentist was trying his best to do the necessary work on my teeth, he sighed and said, “Reba, if anyone tries to tell you that you have a big mouth, you tell them you dentist said NO YOU DON’T!”

Country music lost the last remaining original member of the Grand Ole Oprey. It will never be the same. No one will be able to fill his void. What he did for the genre is unequaled. I never knew I’d be stand so tall and reach so far by standing on the shoulders of such a tiny little man. I am what I am today because of a little man who played guitar and sang funny little songs. 

I would say, “rest in peace” Jimmy, but I know you’re up in Heaven wearing one of those glittery suits, strumming a guitar and singing your heart out. Thank you for being big. Thank you for teaching me to be BIG. I once said that when I grew up I wanted to be like you. Today, I realize it came true.

Here’s to the not-so-Little Jimmy Dickens, the man who demanded to live LARGER THAN LIFE!


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That’ll Be Ten Dollars, Please

Posted January 9, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

While in Central Florida last Sunday, I reconnected with an old friend. Dr. Alytrice Brown and I had worked together at different campuses of the same college years ago. But she went off to a new adventure in Puerto Rico and I went off to, well, everywhere. She’s back in Florida now and I talked her into coming out to the truck stop where I was for the night. 

As we sat in a very interesting Barbecue restaurant (we always find the weirdest places to eat in every city we are together), I was captivated by the new culture she created in her home with her three teenage children. At ages twelve to seventeen, they are required to purchase everything. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G!

Her kids have to pay rent and an electric bill. They pay their portion of the phone bill. They pay for food and for the rides their parents give them to and from school. If they want to play wii or other games, there’s a charge for that, too, as well as a two hour limit. If they take longer than is reasonable in the shower, they pay a surcharge on the water consumption. They also are fined for bad attitudes, inappropriate behavior and waste of the bounty they have been blessed with.

Before you call Child Protective Services on my genius friend, you should know it’s play money. She bought a bundle of it at Party City and each week her kids get paid $250. Out of that and right off the top they have to shell out a good portion of that to pay their living expenses. Once those obligations are met, if they have any left to spend, they can use it for recreation. But everything they do will cost something. If they want to go to the movies, they have to pay the Mom-taxi. If they don’t have enough money, they can’t go.

In this day and time when most American families are up to their eyeballs in debt, it is so refreshing to see an individual who is teaching their children fiscal responsibility. I applaud Dr. Brown and her efforts. Already her children are thinking like responsible holders of the greenbacks. Her children- and yours- are the future of our great nation. What they learn now will pave the way for generations to come. Dr. Brown’s investment into the lives of her kids is actually ensuring that the heartbeat of America will continue to beat strongly and with the solid bedrock upon which our nation was founded fully intact.

America, the land of the free… we are free to make the choices we make. Thanks to hard work training up children in the way they should go, those choices will be good ones for years to come. 

The Heartbeat of America… Alive and Well! 



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For My Girls

Posted January 7, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

On Sunday I wheeled my big rig into a very tight parking lot, backed into door fifteen and returned to the guard shack to check in. A very handsome and well built young man sat behind one of the desks. He obviously worked out on a regular basis.

John looked at my paperwork and said, “That will be $90 to unload your truck and would you like to buy some candy for a dollar?” I followed  his hands as he pointed to the boxes of assorted candy bars that lined the wall next to his desk. I figured he was selling the sweets to earn his way to the Olympics or something but when I asked, he pointed to the photo of two beautiful little girls he’d tacked to the wall above the candy.

“It’s for them.”

“Oh they’re doing a fundraiser?”

“No, I’m doing the fundraiser so I can provide them the life they deserve.”

That got my attention so, much to the man’s surprise, I pulled up a chair and said, “Tell me all about it.”

For the next twenty minutes, I listened as this man described his life over the last four years. His master’s degree had landed him a high level position with a prestigious company in central Florida. He quickly rose to become very successful but then the unthinkable happened. The company was shut down for unscrupulous practices and with no warning, John was out of a job. 

They quickly ran through their savings when he was unable to land another job. He was in the same boat so many Floridians–and Americans–were in at that time… overqualified and unemployed. He had no way to support his wife and two young daughters. But John had his brain. He discovered that most companies were outsourcing their work to third parties so rather than trying hopelessly to get a job with those companies, he went to the third parties.

He landed a job working for a “lumper” company–folks who unload trucks at the big warehouses. Contrary to what you may think, most companies do NOT unload trucks that deliver to their warehouses. It’s outsourced.

With his skills, John quickly rose to managing a team and runs a very tight ship. But, he still could not make enough money to provide the life he wanted for his daughters. But rather than becoming discouraged, he put his brain power to work. He realized that he was dealing with truckers who would sit at his dock for hours. Many of them did not have food and wanted to munch on something. So he went to Sam’s Club, bought candy bars at wholesale and made them available to truck drivers for a buck.

He’s sold enough candy to take his daughters on vacation every year, buy braces for both of them, pay for them to enjoy the activities they had been used to. 

John was a victim of our economy. He could have thrown in the towel. He could have given up. After all, it doesn’t get much worse than what he endured. But John used what he had… his brain. He found a way to make it work. Now, he unashamedly asks drivers “Would you like a candy bar for a dollar?” And John doesn’t bat an eye when telling them it’s to provide the life his daughters should have. 

There is no remorse in John’s eyes. They sparkle and glimmer with satisfaction that in the midst of trial, he figured out a way to provide for his family. He is a gutsy man. He said no to defeat. That’s the American way and thanks to John, the Heartbeat of America is alive and well!


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Through the Storms

Posted January 5, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Because I am so mobile and always on the move, it’s not uncommon to wear flannel shirts in the morning and shorts by the time I arrive at my destination. I experience all sorts of weather extremes, many times all in the same day.

Since Christmas I drove through over four thousand miles of snow, got hit by a 100mph micro burst, slid on black ice before being shut down outside Abilene, Texas. And, as I write this, I’m in shorts and t-shirt in Florida after enduring overnight thunderstorms with tornadic activity. It seems no matter where I go, I run into some sort of storm.

Such it is with the very life we live. No matter where we find ourselves while on our journey, a storm surely arises. And when it does, we sometimes want to be someplace else… any place the storms aren’t raging. But as I high-tailed it out of Abilene heading back east thinking I’d drive out of the ice storm, a weather watcher friend told me the entire country was under some sort of storm. There was no way I would enjoy clear weather that day or the next.

I could have gotten upset about it but that wouldn’t have changed the weather. I could have stopped but then I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. No, I just needed to use the resources I have to go through the storms. I could navigate through the ice, dodge the puddles from the thunderstorms and steer clear of the tornadoes. Because I made the decision to keep moving forward, I’m sitting in eighty degree sunny weather in central Florida. 

I’ve learned a lot about storms since Christmas, both the ones I endured on the road, and those we face in life. Here are just a few insights:

The storm is going to come. You may be able to navigate around some but eventually, you’ll be faced with one head on. Face it.

No two storms are alike but everything you learned in previous storms will help you navigate the present one. Trust it.

While there are times when storms will stop you dead in your tracks, most times you can maneuver through them and safely to the other side. Navigate it.

The storm always passes. When all else fails, stop, regroup and wait it out. Endure it.

I’m so grateful for the storms. Don’t like them but I’m grateful for them nonetheless. Because of them, I’m confident I have within me the inner strength needed to weather whatever life throws at me.  So do you. 

Storms are good but the object is to navigate through them. Trust in your own God-given ability, skill and wisdom and you’ll get through every storm that comes your way. You’ll get through it and be a better person for having done it.

After all, it’s only a storm… right?

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The Path of Least Resistance

Posted January 1, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Early on recent morning while driving through east Texas, I noticed something in a pasture up ahead. At first, I thought I was seeing a long freight train but couldn’t believe it would be in the middle of a pasture.

When I got closer, I realized it was a very long line of cows. For over a half mile, they walked single file on a little path to where their food was. Social people would be walking next to each other chatting, laughing and having fun. But not these furry creatures. Without any prodding whatsoever, they just clumped along one right behind the other in a long chain.

I wanted so desperately to shout out the window, “Run Bessie, RUNNNNN!!!”

I pondered that as I drove and realized we are so much like those cows. We take the path of least resistance. We are creatures of habit and we just follow along in the same direction others are going. But here’s the thing. It’s not healthy.

These cows had hundreds—if not thousands—of acres to roam and yet they walked this one narrow path. It did lead to food but the entire pasture was filled with grass. The food they got seemed like a good thing but it was just fattening them up to be slaughtered.

Not a single cow took the initiative or had the courage to step out of line and explore what lies beyond the path of least resistance. I could tell what they would have experienced. Organic food, bountiful and free for the taking. Open range to explore, and perhaps to hide. Life. Fresh air.  The list goes on.

So many times in my life I’ve taken the path of least resistance. I’ve obediently fallen in line and into step with all the other cows and missed out on so many great adventures. So many blessings.

I don’t want that to happen to you. There is a huge pasture out there for you to explore. It’s waiting for you just outside the well-worn path of least resistance. So as we begin a new year with a clean slate, I’ll say to you what I wanted to shout to the hoof clad friends I ran across in the early morning mist:


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