As a young boy I had great dreams and aspirations of being a rodeo cowboy. Being raised on a small ranch, I would secretly ride calves and other livestock without my dad finding out. In my mid teens I participated in small local rodeos.
One of my heroes at that time was a colorful young champion bronc rider, Casey Tibbs.
In his lifetime, he was a six time champion bronc rider, two time all around champ and won the bareback one year. When I was 16, I attended the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver. It was there I saw both the 20 year old Tibbs and Jim Shoulders standing together in their immaculate cowboy attire. I was awestruck.
Casey was good looking, talented, he rode effortlessly and was a household name among anyone who had anything to do with rodeo. According to a fellow champion, Deb Copenhaver, Casey also was a great prankster.
This story was, for me, a near lifetime ago. Casey, who was a bright star in the world of rodeo, is now just history. Today, rodeo, with new faces and names, continues.
Reflecting on this, I see a great similarity between a rodeo and our life. A rodeo has a beginning and an ending. It starts with the grand entry and ends with the last bull out of the chute. As in rodeo, our life is made up of a series of events, beginning with birth. As with the prospect of the birth of a child, the crowd comes to the rodeo with expectancy and anticipation.
A successful rodeo or a life consists of someone’s preparation and involvement: The parents prepare for the baby. After arrival,they are deeply involved. They set about preparing the baby for safe involvement in each stage of its growing life. The child then prepares for his successful involvement in life. He then becomes involved in the life for which he has prepared.
The Bible tells us that our life is like a race. I Cor. 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. In the race just described there is only one winner. However, there is a difference for the Christian. The Bible teaches that, through Christ we overcome, obtain victories and are more than conquerors.
In large rodeos, contestants will participate multiple times during the rodeo. Each time a cowboy participates he or she can win money. There are several go rounds in a rodeo. Money won in a go round is called “day money.” As you walk with God, you can be a winner each day of your life.
The ultimate prize for a contestant in rodeo is, at years end, to be named world champion. Still for us there is a greater prize and that is to hear our Lord say: “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord!”
In the rodeo world, some only want to enter and say they have competed. Others are there to win. Years ago, a young man I knew entered the calf roping. To my amazement, he did rope the calf but he didn’t know how wrap the legs and do the hooley. He finally gave up.
Some people are prepared for half the things in life and half prepared for some things in life and unprepared for the most important things in life. Preparation and practice are vital in rodeo and in life for a successful outcome. There are Christians in name and there are practicing Christians. Those who make application and put into practice God’s word are winners.
God has provided all things necessary for us to be champions. Not just for the “day money” or occasional champions but winners throughout life and recipients of the victor’s crown in the presence of the Lord.
Some have life insurance but none of us have assurance of the longevity of this present life. You may have a home here but where will you live after you die?
Some may speculate as to whether there is a next life. Do you have any facts there is not?
The Bible says there is an eternity in our future and that there are two locations. Through Christ, we have the assurance of heaven and win for time and eternity