How To Avoid Bein’ Hobbled By Your Mistakes

by Kevin on April 22, 2010

When the new cowhand showed up on his first morning, the ranch owner couldn’t help but notice the fine dun filly he was ridin’. This horse moved with grace combined with volcanic strength that was hidden beneath un-spurred  hide. All the cowboys stood in open admiration of the mare and they all wondered where the young cowpoke ever came across such a grand horse.

Several quick trade offers were thrown at the cowboy, but he smiled and politely refused every one. The trades kept comin’, but the rancher could tell all would be denied. The offers continued throughout the day as the old cowhands let the youngster drag calves just so they could see the mare work. “Let’s see how she cuts calves!” someone would yell. The ranch owner would nod and the mare didn’t let a one get by.

As time went by, the rancher wanted the dun mare real bad. He had privately offered the cowboy a large sum of money for her, but he knew before he offered that it would be refused. He admired how the young cowboy took such great care with his horse. Her mane and tail had never known a knot and her hooves were always shod to perfection. Every time the rancher looked at this horse, his desire to own her doubled.

Finally, the rancher couldn’t stand it any longer and he hatched up a plan to get the horse. He put the young cowboy in charge of breaking all the young colts. The cowboy was only allowed one saddlin’ before he was told to put the horses to work. The young man stayed beaten and broken up from all the runaways and wrecks, but he never complained and he abided by the ranchers orders even though he hated the way he had to carry them out.

The rancher never let up on the cowboy. As soon as he got a young horse workin’ good, the rancher would give the horse to another hand and bring in another for the cowboy to ride. When the cowboy proved he could handle anything that a two or three year old bronc could throw at him, the rancher started bringing him four and five year old horses that had never been touched. These horses were bigger, smarter, and tougher than their younger counterparts.

On one fateful day, a big five year old bay gelding tried to run off. The cowboy tried desperately to get him turned, but the big gelding took the bit and just kept running. Finally, the big horse’s run ended in a cloud of dust when it stepped in a prairie dog hole. When the dust settled, the cowboy laid unmoving next to the fallen horse.

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The service was somber as the laid the young cowboy to rest right there where he had fallen. The horse was also buried there beside him. The horse had broken it’s leg in the fall and had to be put down. The cowboy was buried with his hat in his hands and the spurs on his boots. The clothes he had put on that mornin’ would be worn forever. The youngster had no family that he had ever spoken of, so his cowboy family said a few nice words about him and wished him well in greener pastures where there were no broncs.

That evening, the cowhands looked on from the bunkhouse as the ranch owner saddled up the dun mare and took her for ride. One cowboy said he overhead the rancher say, “A horse for a horse. Life is tough.”

2 Samuel 12:5-9  — 5David was furious with the rancher and said to Nathan, “I swear by the living LORD that the man who did this deserves to die! 6And because he didn’t have any pity on the poor cowboy, he will have to pay four times what the mare was worth.” 7Then Nathan told David: “You are that rancher! Now listen to what the LORD God of Israel says to you: “I chose you to be the king of Israel. I kept you safe from Saul 8and even gave you his house and his horses. I let you rule Israel and Judah, and if that had not been enough, I would have given you much more. 9Why did you disobey me and do such a horrible thing? You murdered Uriah the Hittite by having the Ammonites kill him, so you could take his wife Bathsheba.” (SCVSimplified Cowboy Version)

How to avoid bein’ hobbled by your mistakes.

Even the great King David of the Bible made his share of mistakes. He basically had someone murdered so that he could have his wife. David is the same man that God said, “Is a man after my own heart.” Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes we make small ones and sometimes we make great big huge mistakes. I doubt any of us have had someone murdered so that we could take their wife or horse. Here are three things to remember to avoid bein’ hobbled by your mistakes:

  1. Learn from ’em – Everyone makes mistakes. We will never be able to avoid all the prairie dog holes that life puts in our way, but we can learn from each crash. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone learns from ’em.
  2. Don’t dwell on ’em – No matter how bad we want to, we can never go back and change anything we say or do. What we need to do is ask God for forgiveness and move on. That’s not easy to do, but to dwell on ’em after asking forgiveness is the same as sayin’, “God I know you forgive me, but your forgiveness isn’t enough for me.”
  3. God can use ’em – Mistakes are like stumblin’ blocks. We trip and fall and break our heads off, but God can also use these mistakes as steppin’ stones to get you where he wants you to be. God is bigger than ANY mistake that you can make.

The wisest and wealthiest ruler that the world has ever seen was named Solomon. God called him “Jedidiah”. This means Loved by the Lord. To prove that God is bigger than any mistake, let’s always remember 2 Samuel 12:24-25.

24David comforted his wife Bathsheba and slept with her. Later on, she gave birth to another son and named him Solomon. The LORD loved Solomon 25and sent Nathan the prophet to tell David, “The LORD will call him Jedidiah.”

Don’t be hobbled by your mistakes. Ask God to forgive you and then forgive yourself.

Lean on yer saddle and tell us your tale.

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  • Chad Armstrong

    I one time made a mistake that has stuck with me my whole life and I will never forget it as long as my memory serves me right. Back years ago probably around the age of 13 or 14, myself and Caleb Edwards and probably Zach Edwards and my sister Jokellie were at our home away from home the 4-H barn. We were having one of those built up dirt cluad fights over at the roping arena, (me and ole Zach were probably blistering caleb and jokellie) well they had run around the announcers box which is probably about 20 to 25 feet tall with 2 large windows that face the arena. Me being me thinking I had an arm like hulk hogan and pin point accuracy like a snipers rifle in Iran, decided I would just lob a dirt cluad over the announcers box. Well it was a perfect throw!!!!! that dirt cluad hit one of those very large windows smack dab in the center and it was like slow motion watching all that glass fall to the arena floor, and it did flush the enemy out cause once all that glass feel we all ran race horse speed back to the 4-H barn like the boogie man was after us. Well I told dad what i had done and he made me call Mike Elkins who at the time was the commisioner. Well Mike thought that was the best jesture of courtesy by calling and admmitting to my mistake in accuracy that he told me to meet him at the arena that next morn. That morning did come and I met Mike there and he shook my hand and told me how much that window cost, ( I dont remember the cost but it was more than I had in my pocket for sure). Mike said I will let you work this off Chad be here tomorrow morn. and I will get you started. Yep to my discomfort Mike did not forget to show up, Not only did he show up he showed up with about 30 gallons of white paint and he had me paint that whole arena!!!! people from Big Lake know thats not a real small place, however I got it done in about a month and I promise this I have not thrown a dirt cluad in the direction of window since that day!!!!! God Bless everybody….

    • Kevin

      Great story Chad. Now I know how to whip you. I will stand in front of a window and throw dirt clods at you.

      I don’t look at your story as being about a mistake so much as I look at it as a hard lesson learned. If only we had more people like you who were: willin’ to pay the consequences for our actions, had parents who made us own up when we do somethin’ we shouldn’t, and leaders of our communities (Mike Elkins) who were willin’ to teach a lesson that benefited the kid and the community.

      Thanks for sharin’ and I’ll be callin’ on you to fill in one of these days cowboy!

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