The Cow


The Hebrew word for meditate is the same word used for “cow chewing the cud.” This metaphor is used many times throughout scripture to help us understand how we relate to the Word—as a picture for meditation. 

Someone who is a Cow is someone who isn’t necessarily as structured as the Early Bird or Night Owl, and who might not have the same focus as the Ant Eater or Python. When we think about the animal, a cow eats along the way, grazing somewhat rhythmically throughout the day whenever it feels like it, and it continues to graze until it has something to chew on. And since it has multiple stomachs (though it’s a little graphic to think about), the cow continues to digest this food several times, bringing it back up from one stomach and to chew and digest again.

If you are a Cow in your Scripture reading, you tend to graze in the Word until you find something you want to chew on. Then, you write it down on a note card, or in your journal, or on your phone, as a reminder for yourself to bring it back up at some point during the day or week and reflect on (or chew) it again for a little while. You might meet with another Christian to talk about what you’ve been reading, digesting it with them once again but in a different way. 

Though not prescriptive, a Cow may choose to read three or four chapters before a time of digestion, to get the context of the section of Scripture, and ask the Spirit to guide them as they graze. They may set aside certain times of the day or week to reflect on the verses that seem to be impressed upon them, memorize them, or keep them on sticky notes in a place of prominence in their life.