Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bring it on bull

I've never ridden a bull - live or mechanical - but I think I'm up for the challenge. I think I could be a stand-out in the bull-riding arena. Little as I am, I believe I could conquer the wild stag.
You may be wondering what spawned this sudden, and admittedly strange, desire to mount a bull. I pondered the same question when the thought dawned on me that I'd love to enter the rodeo arena. Where did the seed come from that planted the idea in my mind that I would be a perfect fit for the back of a twelve-hundred pound, bucking bull? I haven't been reading about David facing Goliath yet somehow a Herculean style drama made its way into my imagination.
I could see it all in my mind's eye: The tiny, fragile pipsqueak of a girl weighed down with heavy cowboy boots and chaps makes her way to the bucking chute, preparing to conquer the seething beast waiting in the arena's stall. She can hear the angry animal kicking, huffing and puffing but she isn't deterred. The crowd is silent, utterly perplexed at her presence but she doesn't even hear their taunts and doesn't notice their gawking. She is determined.
As she climbs up into position she double checks her vest, pulls her gloves extra-snug and grips her bull rope firmly in hand. She mounts the bull, looks to the gate man and gives him the cue. She's ready.
The gate opens and the longest eight seconds of her life begin. Her opponent is fierce, rarely defeated in the ring. He can buck off the most skilled, seasoned riders. Immediately the bull breaks into twisting jumps. His hind-legs catapult straight up into the air. The flimsy weakling on his back fights for her life to maintain her balance. All of her focus is on maintaining the freedom of her left hand while staying upright. With each second that passes in the most dangerous eight seconds of sports she thinks of nothing but surviving. The whiplash will take its toll later. The pain will set in once she dismounts and exits the arena.
Five...four...three... The crowd gasps as the the bull changes direction from side-to-side then front-to-back. The little body on the bull's back wavers but does not fall. As the time comes to an abrupt close the bull goes for a "spinner." The little rider throws her body away from the bull, dismounts and is propelled across the dirt floor of the massive arena. She knocks against the ground. The dirt flies into a cloud of grit and soot.
The stadium falls eerily silent, waiting to see if the tiny body reappears upright.
And then she stands. She stands right up! And the crowd goes wild as she runs like the wind towards the nearest exit.
She conquered the beast. She survived eight seconds of deadly peril and lived to tell the tale.

So, why do I want to ride a bull?
Because I've been preparing for such an event for the past six years. I've been kicked, bucked and spun around in dizzying circles for six long years. And I'm still upright. I've held onto the stag and I've kept my one hand reaching to God and He has kept me upright. The miracle is that this little, fragile, pipsqueak of a girl hasn't been thrown off yet. God is proving that when He is behind the reigns there is no bull on earth powerful enough to dismount His rider before the time is up. And my time isn't up quite yet.
The eight seconds of the bull rider are a blink of an eye compared to the six years of my health saga. The competition is still underway. I still need to keep my hand up to God without letting it drop or fall. I need to keep my balance - spiritually and emotionally. And if I want really great markings I need to do it all with joy and peace. How's that for the ride of a lifetime?
I'm confident that I can conquer the bull in the middle of any arena because God has already proven that He will empower me with strength, perseverance and steadiness that defies human logic. With God holding me steady and secure I am ready to take on any bull that enters the chute. So bring it on wild stag. You're no match for my God.

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