Dealin’ with life in slick-rock country

by Kevin on August 25, 2010

Gathering cattle in slick-rock country can be a little bit nerve racking. For those that don’t know, slick-rock is just a great big piece of flat rock that will come out of the ground just about the spot where you are running your horse wide open and need to stop real fast and turn a cow. Riding across slick-rock is nearly like walking on ice. There can be small spots of rock or there can be miles of it. Great care and total abandon is the only way to gather cattle, sheep, or goats in slick-rock country.

You have to use great care when working in these types of areas. The last thing you want to happen is for your horse to fall. You could get hung up or a leg broke. Slick-rock is not for the faint of heart. The main thing that you have to do is let your horse do the work. When you hit those slick places and your horse goes to sliding around like grandma on too many fuzzy navels, you just try to stay in the middle and don’t try to help him. Don’t pull his head up or go to scootin’ around in the saddle. If you try to help your horse, your both liable to end up on the ground. Your horse has stumbled on four legs a lot more times than you have so let him fix it. He don’t need your help.

You also have to have total abandon gathering in those slick pastures. Great care is needed, but if you are too careful, you won’t be able to get the job done. If you just walk around that pasture and let the cows get away, why were you even out there? Sure it can be scary. There is always the chance that your horse going to slip and fall, but you still have a job to do. When the time comes for you to do your job, just whip and spur and trust your horse to stay on all fours.

We all have times in our Christian lives when we nearly slip and fall. Shoot, some of us don’t nearly fall, we completely fall down–flat on our face. When you are a Christian, it seems like everywhere you turn there is slick-rock country. There is always areas that are there to make things just a little slippery.

Psalms 73:2-3

2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;

I had nearly lost my foothold.

3 For I envied the arrogant

when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

When you hit the slippery times in your life, just give God all the reigns you have and just try to stay in the middle. Unlike a horse on slick-rock, God cannot fall down. When you trust him with your life, you are on solid, stable ground. We will all slip and sometimes we will still fall, even though we know what to do. Thank goodness when we fall, our Lord is right there waiting for us to climb back on. God doesn’t ever run off from us, it’s always the other way around. So today, sit up there and let God take control. He knows how to handle the slick-rock country better than you do.

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  • “Great care and total abandon” that’s the way to follow Jesus. Last night I taught from Psalm 119:1-8. Two concepts stood out to me that are a lot like you shared here.

    Verse 2 says, “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!” –That’s total abandon, having an undivided heart.

    Verse 4 says, “You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently.” –That’s great care–diligence in obedience.

  • Hi Kevin,
    I love the examples and parallels you come up with to describe our relationship to God. This is really what Underwood was talking about when she sang “Jesus take the Wheel.” We always talk about following God with wild abandon or worshiping with wild abandon, but never so much TRUST with wild abandon. (ever say a word so many times that it starts to sound weird?)

    Reckless trust in God can not only bring us into miraculous relationship with Him, but also brings us into a place of Godly rest where we work in His power and not our own.

    Awesome stuff man! Thanks for sharing,


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