You see, this was our first rodeo. So I directed my gaze to my daughter-in-love who sat there so serenely and, with great amazement questioned, “How can you just sit there?” “Oh,” she said with a flip of her hand, “you get used to it.” Well, of course; she was a veteran and this was her 7th rodeo. But let me reiterate, I was not. However she was right, because two and a half hours later, I was whooping it up and a hollering with the best of them during the most intense part of all – the bull riding event. (Yet, I did tell my sweet daughter that if one of those cowboys fell off and began to be mauled by one of those half ton creatures to please cover her eyes. I just couldn’t imagine her having that in her brain for the rest of her life. I promised her I would do the same.)
But after all the excitement was over – including the coda at the end where the bull fighters intentionally placed themselves in front of charging bulls, I wondered, “What in the world makes a man do that?” What makes him get on a kicking horse only to be thrown high in the air? Or on a raging bull knowing there’s only one way off? Is it stupidity? (At this point, I must confess that after the bull fighters had deliberately been “horned” and kicked around like a football, I looked at my children and said, “Now that was stupid,” and I meant it.) But what about the riders? What is it that makes them get on those uncontrollable beasts time and time again?
Maybe it is because they’re ill-advised; but I don’t think so. I think they are fully aware of the potential cost. They know the thrill of danger for sure, but they also know the exhilaration of doing something that’s larger than they are and is beyond their control. They know the fulfillment of victory, of being thrown and of getting up – and of ultimately riding again. They understand second chances. They grasp the fact that abundant living comes when they choose courage over their fear. And maybe, just maybe, they comprehend and appreciate that this whole bull riding thing is a ride of lifetime. Maybe they know that’s one of the reasons why they were created – for adventure.
Hmm, now that I think about it, sounds an awfully lot like this walk of faith, doesn’t it. Maybe Jesus knew something about being a cowboy after all.
By the way, plans are to make this an annual event. But if you want to be included, be warned. It’s not for the faint-hearted.
Just an ordinary moment…
And he's off -- or will be shortly. See, looks like a rag doll, doesn't he?
The bull fighter at the end of the show. What more can I say? It's just plain stupid.