It's been heavy on my heart and stirring for awhile in my brain. Today, God has convicted me to share a perspective he's given me.
Since this is from God, let's start with a bible verse from 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and YOU are that temple."
I want to start by saying, I'm proud to be a Christian cowgirl. I'm proud to be involved in a sport, lifestyle, way of life, industry, that is proud to pray. I'm thankful that I'm not shamed when I use God's name or have conversations with others, including our youth about him. We are blessed and today's conviction is a reminder to put HIM first and let HIM lead.
I love me some tough, gritty, determined, resilient cowboys and cowgirls. But, I can't help but be concerned. With the knowledge, education, information and studies we have today, why do we continue to glorify competing with serious injuries? Why are making stars out of youth competitors who aren't physically or mentally developed enough to handle the physical or mental pressures being placed on them to compete at a high levels long term?
I can't help but be concerned. Has our industry is become so title, buckle, money driven that we have gotten away from caring for our brothers and sisters in Christ as our "rodeo family?"
I can't help but be concerned. Have we are become so thrill driven and absorbed with the suspense of one of those rodeo family members having the chance to win a title, that we condone them risking their lives?
I'm can't help but be concerned. Are we, as Christian cowboys and cowgirls, we are more excited about that one moment than we are with the future of that brother and sister in Christ, whose body is a temple and has much more than a title left to live for?
I can't help but be concerned. I've talked with professional competitors, trainers and doctors and read articles about the development of the youth body and brain. Are we so caught up in the potential our youth have to be a world champion in 5, 10 or 20 years, that we aren't patient enough to wait for them to be full developed? Are we willing to risk their bodies and brains before they're strong enough to take the power and force of bucking animals?
I can't help but be concerned. With the amount of research, experiences, knowledge and studies, many are choosing to ignore the coaches, pastors, doctors, and help available who have so much experience and want to see our industry thrive beyond the way it's always been.
I can't help but be concerned. I truly believe people are doing things with good intentions, but are we not holding each other accountable to think long term?
As a rodeo family as a whole, I encourage us all to step back and ask ourselves, are we doing the things we do for God or for mankind? Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Are we seeking a short term inheritance of the world, instead of trusting his timing and his ETERNAL inheritance in heaven?
Are we making decisions out of love and grace for our fellow brothers and sisters, or are we wanting them to push the needle for the thrill we get to experience vicariously through them? Are we trying to keep up with the highlight reels of those around us, or are we asking God to lead our paths and trusting in his timing, even when it include passing on this one so we can saddle up for the next one?
God put these thoughts on my heart, and he gave me this platform to share them. I would be doing a disservice to my rodeo family and being disobedient to Him if I didn't share them. Please remember, these are simply points of view for us each to consider as we continue down the rodeo road, chasing gold buckle dreams and even more importantly, Chasing the the glory of the man who died for our sins.