Thursday, April 12, 2012


Our annual Easter steer wrestling clinic was this past weekend and it made me think again that the FMJ cast would make good steer wrestlers.  In fact I tried to get them to come to my clinic.  From the time I was a little boy I have looked forward to the steer wrestling schools.  My dad started teaching one every Easter and every Thanksgiving in 1969.  I took them over myself in 1991,  so for the past 21 years I have been teaching guys of all ages, abilities, and experience how to bulldog.  I have several friends who teach other events in rodeo and we are always amazed at the students who show up wanting to “show” us how well they rope, steer wrestle, ride… I mean they pay us to learn and yet they really just want to show off.  I say teaching steer wrestling has a real advantage, because when a student doesn’t want to change I can just make sure he runs the steers that make it clear he needs change.  Steer wrestling can be incredibly humbling.  For instance, I have run over a million steers on the ground and one kicked me and ran over me just yesterday.  Jousting is humbling in the same way.  You can do everything right and the other guy can do some things wrong - -  he parries, knocks your lance off target and he hits on target leaving you wondering where it all went wrong.  True humility is a good thing.  The problem is that although a humbling experience can produce true humility it can also produce a false humility.  True humility is defined as, "A quality by which a person considering his own defects has a humble opinion of himself and willingly submits himself to God and to others for God's sake." St. Bernard   The word comes from the Latin humilitas, meaning “grounded”, which has at its root humus ,  meaning “earth” or “dirt”.  True and false humility share this beginning- this sense that we are “dirt”. However, this is where the similarities end.  True humility realizes we are a mess, realizes we have shortcomings and failures and then realizes that the only way to overcome these shortcomings and failures is to let God have the access He needs to our lives so He can begin to transform our mess.  False humility, on the other hand, starts by agreeing we are a mess, then settles into an acceptance that the mess is the final state of things. In so doing, it actually exalts itself by saying the mess is the end and nothing and no one can do anyting about it.  False humility says “I am  just stupid, I will always be stupid”. False humility says “ I did wrong but I can’t help it...” it says, “I’m a cheater, but I was made that way”.  You see as Paul writes in 1 Cor 15:48-49 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.  True humility freely admits our shortcomings but continues to submit those shortcomings to the only one (God) who can do much about them. 

1 comment:

  1. TY, Rope, for these thots. So thankful we serve an awesome God who is willing to transform our messes when we submit to Him. Blessings ~