I’m a cowboy, not a rancher.

by Kevin on August 24, 2010

I couldn’t wait until the day that I could afford to put cows on the ranch. I remember the first bred heifers that I bought off of my neighbor and I officially became a cattle rancher. But my ranchin’ life didn’t last very long.

I had this same conversation with a friend of mine this past Sunday. His family has a ranch and his grandfather offered to let him use some land to start his own little ranch. My friend turned down the offer and I would have too. You see, there are ranchers and then there are cowboys. Sometimes a person can be both, but more often than not, you are either one or the other. My friend is not a rancher and has no desire to be one. Me either. We are not ranchers, we are cowboys.

I wasn’t prepared for the equipment that a rancher has to purchase. Big stock trailers and tons of vet supplies. There are markets to worry about and that doesn’t even take into account the worrying over whether or not it’s gonna rain. All of these things just took all the fun out of workin’ cattle and bein’ a cowboy.

Rockin K Bar Photography

There is nothing wrong with just being a cowboy. I’ll let someone else risk the big money and big rewards. Just tell me what pasture we need to gather and then I’ll be there before daylight with a thermos full of coffee and a bronc to ride. I’ll give you all I’ve got until the job is done. I’ll flank the calves. I’ll take the outside. I’ll work the head gate or I’ll push the kickin’ calves. I’ll tend the brandin’ fire or even feed cake all winter long. I just don’t want to have to make the decisions and buy the cattle.

I hear a lot of people say that if they won the lottery, they’d buy a big ranch and run a lot of cattle. I wouldn’t do that. I’d hire on an outfit and work as a preacher and a cowboy and just not have to worry about where breakfast was comin’ from or if my kids needed new boots. God didn’t call me to be a rancher because I wasn’t a rancher to begin with.

Too often, people try to become something they were not called to be when they became a Christian. I like how Joyce Meyers said that the first thing people want to do when they become a Christian is to have an international ministry and go on tour. This isn’t how God wants it to be for most of us. God has called you right where you are at.

There are people around you right now that need to know the love of God. There are people that you work with that are lost and hurting. You have neighbors that wouldn’t know Jesus if he came down on a white horse. When God calls you, he calls you right where you are.

1 Corinthians 7:17, 20, 24

17Everyone should live the life that the Lord gave him when God called him. This is the guideline I use in every church….. 20All people should stay as they were when they were called….. 24Brothers and sisters, you should remain in whatever circumstances you were in when God called you. God is with you in those circumstances.

There is nothing wrong with just being a cowboy for Christ. I don’t have to be a rancher for Christ to be someone important to God. The Lord has put you in a place for a reason. Your home used to be a desert wasteland and now it is a desert oasis. Share the Living Water with everyone who is around you where you are right now.

What can you do for God right where you are today?

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  • Howdy Kevin! I haven’t been here in a long time, and it’s good to be back. I appreciate your no-nonsense, let’s not over-complicate things, remember what’s important and not get distracted by fluff way of putting things. Francis Chan writes and talks the same way, and that’s why I love reading and hearing him too.

    This is a really good reminder for me. I’m in a period of trying to set out on some new ministry things, and while I haven’t yet felt like I need to disciple the entire city of Houston, I need to keep mindful of what you’re talking about. You’re right on.

    • Kevin

      Thanks Chris and glad to have you back. I’ll be in your neck of the woods (Houston) Thursday through Saturday on business.

      I’ll check out Francis Chan…thanks for the suggestion.

  • Well hey, if you’re in the northwest part of town, shoot me an email and I’ll buy you a drink!

  • It’s so good to know that “Jesus living in me” doesn’t have to always look like “Jesus living in you.” And that goes for churches too. God has a variety of us, each uniquely showing forth the glory of God and the good news of Jesus.

    Doesn’t it set us free when we realize that all I really have to be is who the Lord made me to be? I cannot reach every person with the Gospel. But Jesus can reach some through me. I will never be the world’s best preacher, but Jesus can still speak through me. I am not the most understanding husband and father, but Jesus can still love through me. I may never be a rancher or a cowboy, but I can still enjoy preaching in boots–because that’s who God made me to be.

    • Kevin

      How come it takes me 600 words to say what you can in 140? lol

      Thanks Richard

  • B.B. Berry

    Wow! I have always heard “Grow where you are planted”, this sounds better! Thank you!

    • Kevin

      Thanks for hanging out with us BB.

  • Pingback: How Jesus Prayed, Part 2: Praying Often « The Prayer Experiment()

  • “Your home used to be a desert wasteland and now it is a desert oasis. Share the Living Water with everyone who is around you where you are right now.”

    This statement is one of the single most powerful statements I have heard (well read in this case) in a long time. Just so you know, I am going to be using this everywhere chance God affords me.

  • Ryan Goodman

    Funny, I usually tell people I’m a rancher, not a cowboy. I have too much respect for the hat, chaps, and spurs of the hire out cowboy to let em call me that. I’m all about being authentic, and letting others like me for who I am.

    But at the same time I can’t seem to settle down in one place… One of my favorite versus from Paul seems to describe our life on the road and the journey we’re on to get to that final home.

    Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
    Philippians 3:12-14

    Thanks for putting it this way Kevin.

    • Kevin

      I know what you mean about settling down in one place. So when are you coming to Colorado? lol

      Awesome insight on our journey home!!

      • Ryan Goodman

        Haha, just spent all of last week outside of Colorado Springs and Pueblo! Awesome weather compared to the heat and humidity here in Arkansas.

        • Kevin

          I wish I would have known!! I’m only 45 minutes from Colorado Springs. I would have bought you a coffee and a donut.

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