Are you willin’ or are you going home?

by Kevin on July 27, 2010

When you are unknown to other cowboys, showing up on a ranch is basically a hands on job interview. They will be watching and seeing what you know and how good a hand you are. You only get one chance to make a first impression. I have been on both sides of the fence. I’ve made some good impressions and other times I have fallen flat on my face–literally.

I usually passed most of the tests on the ranches that I have worked on. But I didn’t pass them in the way that I thought I was supposed to. I thought that I was supposed to be able to rope like Speed Williams, ride like Hawkeye Henson, flank like Fred Whitfield, and be as tough as Ty Murray.

By Kara Nehring McMurtrey

What took me a long time to realize is that cowboys care less about ability and more about “trying and willingness”. Most of the time, a wagon boss would rather have a young cowboy that’s full of honest try rather than a know-it-all that won’t pull his weight.

That’s how I got by every time. I missed a lot of loops, but I always had another one ready. I got bucked off quite a bit, but I always got back on–sometimes multiple times. It wasn’t my performance that got me where I needed to be, but my willingness to listen and do what I was told to do-regardless of how hard it was.

The same thing applies to living the Christian life. Even before Jesus was born, the great King David knew this to be true.

Psalm 40:6 – Sacrifices and offerings are not what please you; gifts and payment for sin are not what you demand. But you made me willing to listen and obey.

If you think performance will get you hired on in heaven then you have made a mistake. It takes perfection to get into heaven and none of us are that. We can’t bribe our way in and it doesn’t matter who you know.

So many people are trying to make up for sins or guilt they feel from their past. Sometimes this stops them dead in their tracks. You can’t do it. If you want to live a life worth living, then you have to be willing to listen and obey. Not make up for this or that.

I’ll go as far as to say that it’s a sin to try to make up for a sin. If you can do that, then Jesus isn’t needed. Don’t be a dog chasing it’s own tail throughout your life. Don’t sin by trying to make up for a sin.

It’s time to quit trying to earn and repay our way into eternity. It’s time we were willing to listen and obey.

I’m willing, but I’m also looking for some cowboys and cowgirls that are willin’ also-even if the going gets rough.

Are you in or are you going home?

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  • I’m so grateful that Jesus is more like a ranch boss than a city boss. I have enough problems keeping my heart willing and open to Him and just trying some days without worrying about getting the results He’s looking for.

    At the same time, it’s a hard mindset to shake. I once heard someone say that you can have a great heart to build a car and be 100% devoted to it, but it won’t make the least bit of difference if you don’t have the skills and resources to build it.

    • Kevin

      The cool part is that if it is God’s will for you to build the car, he will provide the skills and resources.

      About getting the results he’s looking for, I think one of his greatest blessings is that he doesn’t allow us to see many of the results of our work for Him. Our worldly selves couldn’t handle all that. We would start thinking we were pretty good after a while.

      I told my wife the other day, I think God has used more of my mistakes for His glory than the things I got right. If God can make the universe, he can take a little mistake and use it. The trick is that it all depends on motivation and try. If you are really doing it for God’s glory, I don’t think you can make a mistake.

  • I’m willin’. I’ll let Jesus make up for my sins and be grateful that He was willing and that He alone had the power to do so.
    Checked out your friend’s facebook site. It looks amazing at what they are doing. Must be God’s call and anointing. Couldn’t be done any other way.
    Years ago when I worked for the water district in California we had an employee who went to Tijuana, Mexico to visit an orphanage in particular. After spending time there, he heart was burdened because they could not get clean water there–and he working in the water business.
    He felt the Lord call him to bring water to that orphanage–and he did! Quite an amazing story how everything came together to make it possible. I got to write about it–what a blessing!
    Thanks for stopping by,

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