Pasture Worshipin’

by Kevin on March 8, 2010

Ever had a date night in the pasture?

My wife and I had a date last night. Many will laugh, but cowboys and cowgirls will understand. We went driving around in the pasture. It was right at sunset and we just cruised around. Not a whole lot was really said. We just hung out together and watched the sun go down.

On our way back to the house, I thought about the home that we had made together out here at the ranch. We stuck a house in the middle of a pasture and called it a home. I thought of all the hard work that we have put into our little house on Coyanosa Creek. It’s really not a creek. It’s a draw that sometimes runs water, but it’s my house and my story so I can call it whatever I want.

When we first started moving into the house (long before I was a preacher), there was so much that needed done. Porches needed built. The yard needed planting. Horse pens were drawn up in the dirt, but locked away in the mind. The eight acres in front of the house needed clearing. All of this hard work lay ahead of us and we thanked God for everything that he had provided us.

I remember one weekend that was brimming full of things that had to get done. There didn’t seem like there would be near enough hours in the two days of the weekend to get everything accomplished that I wanted to. I remember saying to myself one Saturday evening, “I still have a week’s worth of work and I only got Sunday to get everything done. I know that I need to go to church tomorrow, but I might just stay home and get this work done. Heck, if I go to church, I won’t even be able to concentrate because I will be thinking of all the things that I have to do.”

My mind then went crazy with all the reasons for taking this particular trail. My thoughts told me that you don’t have to go to church to worship God. What a better time to visit with God than when you are digging post holes for horse pens. I could get all this work done on Sunday morning. Shoot, I would even pray over each thing I was doing. I would get up early in the morning and start the day with reading my Bible and a little alone time with the Almighty.

My thoughts continued to days long past. Days when cowboys drove the big herds and there weren’t no churches in sight. Those cowboys must have done the same thing. Saddlin’ up in the morning air with a verse of Amazin’ Grace on the tip of your tongue. Ridin’ along with God by your side as you tell him of all the things that are on your mind. There would be a thousand thanks and a few simple requests. The sight of that newborn calf hunkerin’ down close to his momma would remind you of the beauty of God’s grace on us all. If you can’t worship God like that, then someone please tell me why.

I had talked myself into having my own little “Cowboy Church” service out here at the ranch. I was kind of excited about my own private service with God that would occur the next day.

When the alarm went off about 5:30 a.m., I jumped out of bed to start my busy day. I started the coffee and fed the animals while it brewed. I make the coffee every morning at our house because my wife showed me in the Bible where the man is supposed to. It’s in He-brews. When the sun came up, I was tacklin’ every task with the same gusto as needin’ to flank 100 calves in one hour. I was pourin’ sweat before it was hot enough to melt ice cream. I had blisters over blisters before most people climbed out of their bedrolls. When each task was completed, I complemented myself on a job well done and dove head first into the next one on the list. By the end of the day, I was tuckered out to say the least. I sat at the kitchen table, weary to the bone, but proud of all that I had accomplished.

Then it dawned on me. I had not given two seconds of my day to God. All those promises that were made Saturday night had flown right out into the pasture, never to be seen again. Suddenly, my day hadn’t seemed as worthwhile as it did the moment before.

Numbers 32:23-24 (Simplified Cowboy Version)
23 But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the Lord, and you can be sure that your sin will find you out. 24  Go ahead and build ranch headquarters for your families and pens for your horses and cows, but do everything you have promised.

The greatest cowboy excuse of all time for not going to church roped me in and tied me down hard and fast. That excuse is, “I don’t have to go to church with everyone else to worship my God. I can worship God out here in the pasture better than some church.” It sounds true enough, but most people do just like I did. They forget to do the worshipin’ that they talked about so much. The Bible says, “Don’t give up meetin’ together as some are in the habit of doin’ (Hebrews 10:25). If you claim that you can worship God better out in the pasture, make sure you really are doin’ that. If you really are, then you will probably have a better understanding of the need to jump in the truck with us and come to Cowboy Church.

Loadin’ em up for God,

Kevin Weatherby, Pastor

Pecos County Cowboy Church
POB 1384
Fort Stockton, Texas 79735

© Kevin Weatherby, 2010

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