"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Rodeo

Okay, so SOMEBODY(S) forgot to mention that rodeos are not for the faint-hearted, the lily-livered, the spineless, not to mention those with high blood pressure. It began innocently enough with the ring master (I don’t know what they’re called at rodeos) leading us in a very moving and powerful prayer – in the powerful name of Jesus, I might add – which should have been my first clue because he thanked God for protecting the lives of these men in the past and asked Him to do so that evening as well. Then right off the bat, or should I say, right out of the stall came this bucking horse with a man attached that looked more like a rag doll pinned to a saddle. I put my hands to my mouth and thought, “Oh, no! What have I gotten myself into?” Turning and looking at my daughter who had the same look of shock on her face, and with eyes as big as saucers, hers and mine, I said, “I don’t know if I can do this!” to which she responded, “Me, either! I’m too hormonal!”

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…

Girls night out.
Almost anyway. (We missed you Kristin!)

And he's off -- or will be shortly. See, looks like a rag doll, doesn't he?

The comic relief was muchly appreciated!

The bull fighter at the end of the show. What more can I say? It's just plain stupid.



1 comment:

Patti said...

NOW- I LOVE ME SOME BULLRIDING! FIRST OF ALL—THEY SING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AND PRAY IN JESUS’ NAME BEFORE THE EVENT, AND GIVE JESUS CREDIT FOR THE EVENING-MANY OF THE BULLRIDERS ARE OUR BROTHERS IN CHRIST. AND THOSE DUDES ARE TOUGH!! AND THE BULLS ARE AWESOME. I LIKE THE ATHLETICISM OF BOTH THE BULLS AND THE MEN AND THE ART OF THE SPORT-YES THERE IS AN ART TO BULLRIDING. BUT I DO NOT LIKE TO WATCH THE CALF ROPING B/C IT MAKES THE CALFS CRY OUT-MAKE SME SAD. THE BULLS LIKE TO COMPETE—I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT IT, BUT TO ME THE LITTLE CALFS DO NOT SEEM TO LIKE THEIR “SPORT”. AND EVERY BULL DOES NOT BUCK—THEY ARE A SPECIAL BREED OF BOVINE!!

IF YOU LIKE –YOU CAN SEE PROFESSIONAL BULLRIDING EVERY SAT/SUN EVENING ON THE “VERSUS” CABLE CHANNEL—THOSE ARE THE BEST BULLS AND RIDERS IN THE BUSINESS!

PATTI