The Rodeo

"The Rodeo" by Marvin Overton

There are a lot of weekend Rodeos to attend, but some are far better than others. The difference is who is running the show. The music must be good, but more importantly, it warms up the crowd with timing that hits the folks at the high points in the experience.

The Grand Entry is often followed by trick riding and roping, which is scintillating, but far from the everyday skill of the true ropers of grown stock and calves. Dog and pony and monkey shows can loosen up the crowd, and barrel racing smooths out the gaps between major events.

Bull riding is wild, unpredictable, and pits its rider against the deceptive and

unpredictable moves of the enemy that is always trying to become the conqueror. Win or lose, the rider knows there will soon be another encounter coming. The bulls will return and are only getting madder and stronger. The win of every rider testifies of their heart to regain lost ground. Bronc riding is just as exciting because the riders test is always to defeat the outlaws challenge to their authority. This event more mimics the real life event of cowboys at the beginning of a lot of their days.

Perhaps not so spectacular to the crowd of onlookers are the Cutting horse contests. They pit the skill, quality, and character of the Horse over the reluctant calf, than anything the rider does. He gently sets the stage for the real work to begin. The time is reset for each new rider. If the calf that was chosen gets its way and escapes being corralled, its chance is over unless it gets another later on. 

Jesus Christ is always throwing a Rodeo; free for all who will come and watch. The problem is that is that many in the crowd will only watch. The musicians try their best; trick riders get attention; barrel racers break up the tension; and bull and bronc riders probably remind a lot of spectators of the times when they had also fought hard to win. Others may recall past losses, and may decide to rethink their chances.

But it is the subtleness of the Cutting Horse trying to corral a reluctant calf that everyone can identify with, because they have felt just like that calf does. If they are willing, the fortunate ones will realize what the event is about; jump to their feet, applaud, and get into full agreement with celebrating the Cutting Horse’s triumph.

What had been the first event should be the last event, because there is nothing more magnificent and thrilling than the Grand Entry of a lot of new riders bearing their flags and celebrating being a part of something grand.

King Jesus is of course the reliable winning cutting Horse, who always gets His calf corralled and made ready to go home.

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