Everything You Need To Know In One Statement

by Kevin on January 17, 2012

Hooley was forkin’ some hay to the horses when the ranch owner came around the barn with a young boy close on his heels. After introductions were made, the owner told Hooley that this young man desired to be a cowboy.

The first thing Hooley had to teach Matthew was that men shook hands when they met. “You have to shake hands firmly as you can and look the other man in the eye,” Hooley said. “No man is better than another and each deserves respect.”

Like a dog that hears a strange sound, Hooley cocked his head to the side in bewilderment as the young boy pulled a pencil and notebook out of his back pocket and begin to slowly write. As his pencil made marks on the paper, the boy recited Hooley’s instructions on shaking hands.

Finally, Matthew put the notebook away and looked up. “What’s next?” he inquired.

Hooley led him into the barn where they started with the chores. All day long they cared for the horses, cleaned up some spilled feed, and just did things that needed to be done. Hooley constantly had to wait on the him to jot the instructions down in his notebook, but he always waited for the boy to finish.

At the end of the day, they sat in the little bunkhouse and the boy had a worried look on his face.

“What’s wrong son?” Hooley asked.

“Mr. Hooley, I’m not sure I’m gonna be able to do all of these things. I’ve taken twelve pages of notes. At this rate, I’ll need a hundred notebooks before winter.”

Hooley put down the Bible he was readin’ and asked to see the boy’s notes. He slid the notebook across and Hooley read the meticulous instructions without judgment. The last entry was on a new page and it stated, “Before you go to bed, read the Bible.”

To the boy’s horror, Hooley tore out the last page and threw the rest of the notebook into the fireplace. He slid the page over to the boy and said, “Son, everything you need to know is already written down on your piece of paper there and in that book. Read that verse I have underlined there in front of you.”

The boy placed his finger under the small text and leaned close to the book as he said, “’Follow me,’ Jesus said. And Matthew got up and followed him. –Matthew 9:9” His eyes grew wide as he looked back down quickly and then back up at Hooley. “That fella has the same name as me!”

“And you need to do the same thing he did.” Hooley said. “Being a cowboy isn’t about following a list of tasks on a piece of paper. It’s about doing what you need to do every day to take care of our outfit, whether it be animals, land, or people.”

Hooley walked over to the fireplace and gazed into the fire with his hands behind his back as he said, “All you need to know is found in that one statement that Jesus made. If you want to learn how to be a cowboy, all you have to do is follow me and do what I do. If you want to learn how to be a man, all you have to do is the same thing that other Matthew did…follow Jesus and do what He did.”

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  • Carla Helms

    That is awesome, Kevin. Really got me to thinkin’!

  • Greg Box

    Thanks Kevin for another awesome devotional!



  • Joel Hamm

    Hey Kevin, greetings from Saskatchewan Canada. I happened to stumble upon this site while I was browsing the wonder of facebook. In the two or three days since, I think I’ve read almost every post. Not only are the stories and messages awesome, the way you relate them to scripture is bang on. God has guided me here for good reason. In the last couple of months I had this feeling that the people in our area could really benifit from a Cowboy Church. Then a week or so ago, I got a call from a man asking me if I would be interested in preaching at the brand new Cowboy Church they’ve been planning in North Battleford (which i knew nothing about), talk about Gods will being done. Now, I am not a public speaker and I should be scared spitless, but God has given me a real calm confidence about this. I would be interested in talking to you a little more about this and maybe getting some advice from a seasoned hand.
    Thanks for your time. God bless.

    • Kevin

      I sent you an email, but if you didn’t get it, let me know.

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