Lonely Are the Brave

by Jake Hershey on November 25, 2012

A miracle took place at my home last night.  Allow me to elaborate.  Television doesn’t do a whole lot for me anymore.  Seems like most of the stuff on there is either about murder, sex, money, greed, addiction or a combination thereof.  However, there is one channel that I highly recommend.  It’s the Western Channel.  That’s right, the Western Channel….all cowboy movies, all day and all night, 24/7.  The Western Channel costs extra.  We used to get it back when I was making good money shoeing horses.  But alas, we haven’t had it for quite a while now.  Last night I was flipping thru the myriad of garbage that we pay to have broadcast into our home when I saw it…The Western Channel.  I don’t know how or why it happened, but last night we had it.  Some of you may think it was a promotional deal drummed up by the satellite company to entice me with the channels I don’t get on a regular basis but could if I’d just pay them more.  I prefer to think it was a miracle of God, perhaps a reward for not choosing not to do any number of sinful things that cross my mind on a daily basis.  Either way, it happened.

As soon as the miracle occurred, a new movie was getting ready to start.  It was called “Lonely Are the Brave”, starring Kirk Douglas and was made a mere 50 years earlier in 1962.  I can’t recall the entire description that the satellite gave for it, but I do remember it included a “modern day cowboy whose individualistic ways are out of sync with the times.”  This sounded like my kind of movie.  Based off the description, it could have been called, “Lonely is Jake”.  Not that I’m lonely, but I can identify with the description.  I’ve been told my entire life that I was born 100 years too late and that I’m an “old soul”.  For the most part, people that say that are right.  Although I do enjoy and am thankful for modern conveniences like electricity and running water, I would also prefer to live without other advances of mankind such as cars, computers, concrete and other things that don’t necessarily start with the letter “c”.

Besides being born 100 years or more too late, I have to admit that I also have some “individualistic ways”, like the character in the movie.  Most cowboys do.  Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes it’s not.  For example, with the exception of a few short stints in time I’ve been self employed (by choice) since I graduated college.  Sometimes that’s great and sometimes it’s not (just ask my wife).  I tend to not follow popular trends in fashion, music, saddles, trucks,  or anything else….I know what I like, I know why I like it and that’s what I stick with.  Sometimes that’s good and sometimes it’s not (again, just ask my wife).  The list of things that make me an individual is endless but I’m not writing a dating profile, so I’ll stop.  The fact is, I take pride in being an individual…in being different from the crowd….in making a living (meager as it may be) doing what I enjoy.  For the most part, I’m not gonna be told what to do, where to go or how to do it.  The main character in the movie was the same way.  The whole theme of the movie was that he was a free spirit, who couldn’t and wouldn’t be tamed, who didn’t like fences or what they represented.  He was gonna do things his way.  Like I said, I could relate.  Everything was going great for our hero in the movie until the very end.  He was running from the law (horseback of course) and he just had to cross a 2 lane highway.  Once he did, he’d be in the cover of thick timber and have a clear shot to Mexico and freedom.  Earlier in the movie, he’d rode into town and his horse balked at all the traffic on the highway.  When they tried to cross the road his pony rared up on the yellow line and nearly got them hit by a passing vehicle.  I guess this time our hero thought it would be different.  It wasn’t.  Just as our hero and his pony were crossing the highway his horse went to throwin’ a fit…and they were hit by a semi.  That’s it.  The movie was over.  Talk about disappointing.

After the initial shock of having witnessed a miracle in my own home and then the hero and his horse being killed had worn off, I got to thinking.

Being an individual is great.  Not caring what other people think, bucking the system, being self reliant…all that is fine and dandy.  One of my biggest fears in choosing to ride for Jesus was that I couldn’t continue to be the person that I was…that I’d have to turn into some meek, mild mannered, soft spoken, yellow bellied, sissy….that I’d have to conform to what society, or at least what Christian society told me was acceptable behavior.  All I knew about church was that I couldn’t stand going as a kid and that was mostly because I had to wear clothes I didn’t like and be around people I didn’t like.  Here’s the great thing-God made us all individuals for a reason.  He’s proud of the job he did when he made you and you should be too.  But know where to draw the line.  God gave us all brains and we should use them.  Sometimes I’m like the character in the movie.  I get too caught up in being the outlaw, in doing things my own way…and I forget to use the sense God gave me.  If our hero would have just slowed down and asked God for direction, he might have realized it was smarter to lead his horse across the road.  As individuals, it’s easy to get consumed with what WE are gonna do and how WE are gonna do it, without asking God for direction.  Although it may be true that “Lonely Are the Brave”, it’s also true that “Dead Are the Stupid”, both physically and spiritually.  If you’re a little different, embrace it.  But don’t forget to use the sense that God gave ya and seek his will in every move you make.

It’s a wonder I haven’t been hit by a semi yet.  Actually, I have…but that’s a story for another time.

Philippians 3:15
All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

Jake Hershey 11/25/12

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  • Brian Becker

    bosses trail — that was almost 2 yrs ago – and im still scrambling ta stay with it but we’re getting there slowly –

    – I remember seein that movie when I was in my teens im thinkin — dang near cried at the end — cept men don’t cry = was told — I too have bin told I was born 100 yrs too late – and I know for a fact altho raised in the church – all my life I bin callin my own shots and holdin the riens — then fall of 2011 I got hit by that truck in a manner of speakin and dang near didn’t make it — but an ole friend on a ranch up here in in BC Canada – took me in and knew what was ailin me — and started me back on the Bosses trail and I bin scrambling ta keep on it since — im gittin there and wont ever quit agin — thanks fer ur words Jake — well spoken — oh and my 3 Crosses Bible cover is used every day — obliged

  • Brian Becker

    sorry bout that split comment = dang computer don’t like me much lol

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