Even if like me you’ve never been to a live rodeo before but you’ve seen it on TV or in a film, you would agree that bull riding is one of the most exciting ‘sports’ in the world but also certainly one of the most dangerous as well. I think it takes someone tough or crazy – and maybe a little bit of both to do it. Confronting a 2,000-pound bull can certainly be intimidating.
Once a bull rider settles himself on the back of the animal and ties his hand into the rope, one of his buddies would say to him, ‘Hang in there!’ With that and an affirmative nod from the rider, the chute would open and out into the arena would charge the raging bull and rider. The rider would grip the bull-rope with one hand and hold his other hand high in the air. The crowd of spectators would scream, ‘Hang in there!’ as the rider puts forth his best effort to become the master of the eight-second challenge. However, it takes more than desire and encouragement from the spectators, for the rider to stay on the bull. Bull riding requires skill, balance, flexibility, coordination, determination and courage. In fact, we are told bull riding is where the phrase ‘hang in there’ originated.
My friends, I’ve found that life can be a lot like bull riding! One HUGE difference, though, is that it is more than a mere 8-second challenge! Life can throw you around pretty hard; and will oftentimes throw you hard to the ground. And, like that nasty old bull, life will oftentimes gouge you, stomp you and beat you further into the ground upon which you’ve so awkwardly landed!
How do you survive the mean, nasty and scary beast that life sometimes becomes? The secret is to do whatever you do well, without waiting for the applause of men, focus on God to carry you through and to SEE the unseen. For your present troubles won’t last very long. Yet they produce for you a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So don’t look at the troubles you can see now; rather, fix your gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things you see now will soon be gone, but the things you cannot see will manifest to your glory.