Pocket Knife Epiphany

by Jake Hershey on February 10, 2013

This week my wife and I went to the Ft. Worth Stock Show and Rodeo to watch one of my best friends for the last 18 years compete in the saddle bronc riding event.  I generally don’t like going to watch rodeos too often…I guess after you’ve competed in them for a long time watching from the stands just doesn’t do much for a guy.  But, this buddy of mine now lives in Nevada and I live in Texas.  Needless to say, we don’t see each other a whole lot.  Plus, the year has started off really good for him so far (I think he was 5th in the world standings as of last week).  So, we drove the two hours to Ft. Worth, where we met up with my buddy, had lunch and went to the afternoon performance.  Ft. Worth is two head and a short round and my buddy was also up in the nighttime performance the same day so we decided to hang out and watch that too. 

By about 6 pm the wife and I were gettin’ worn out.  We don’t do much runnin’ around.  We’d been up since early in the morning, drove two hours, hung out with some bronc riders, watched the perf, walked around the trade show…and we were just about whooped.  It was good to see my buddy and several other friends who I rarely see or talk to anymore but to be honest, I was thinkin’ real hard about just headin’ to the house.  That’s when God showed up.

Some pretty little pocket knives caught my eye in the trade show and I got to visitin’ with the gal that ran the booth, they were different from the kitchen knives I have at home, that I got from All Knives.org.  We made some small talk and introduced ourselves.  Her last name rang a bell.  I asked her if she was related to some folks I know and turns out she was.  Another real good buddy of mine used to sell saddles for those folks.  I asked her if she knew my buddy and that’s when God showed up.

She gave me a look that made me wonder if I should have mentioned my friend’s name at all.  I didn’t know if she was gonna hit me, cuss me or start cryin’.  That’s when she looked me right in the eye and said, “I know him very well.  I love that man.”  I could tell she didn’t love him in a romantic way, but that she really cared for him.  We made some more small talk about my buddy for awhile and she told me to be sure and tell him she said “hello” as they had lost touch. 

The next night that buddy called me up.  I almost forgot to mention the gal but as soon as I did, he knew who I was talking about.  Turns out she knew my buddy was a Christian and he had spent an hour or more, on several occasions, listening to her and giving advice from a Christian cowboy’s perspective. 

Now it all made sense.  When I mentioned his name to her, it wasn’t anger or fear that I saw in her eyes.  It was the memories of what my buddy had done for her, of the impact that he had made in her life.  It was being truly grateful for a Christian cowboy who took time out of his life to help a gal out.

When I told my buddy what she had said about him, I could tell it meant a lot to him, too. 

We all have people that God puts in our life who come to us looking for our time, advice, direction or sometimes just a shoulder to cry on.  Sometimes it can sure seem like a big hassle to give that time, advice or direction when we’re asked to. 

The bible tells us to help each other out.  So we should.  That doesn’t mean gettin’ in other folks’ business when you’re not asked to.  It doesn’t mean gossiping.  It doesn’t mean causing more drama or egging on a drama queen as they tell you about the latest chapter of their soap opera of a life.

It does mean that when your fellow human being is really hurting or struggling it’s our obligation, as folks who claim to ride with Jesus, to listen to their struggle and give them Christian advice. 

We might not see the effects immediately.  We might see them in the future.  We might not see them at all.  It doesn’t matter.  God put that person in your life for a reason.  He sees and He knows what you did for them.  We’re all gonna stand in front of God and answer for what we’ve done with the life He gave us.  I for one hope I can say, “You sent me this person and I told’em what I thought you’d want me to, Lord.” 

What about you?

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”  Galatians 6:2


Jake Hershey 2/10/13

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  • That’s some of that reckless love that John 12:24-26 talks about….

    24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
    (John 12: 24-26 NIV)

    Verse 25 paraphrased says:
    In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.

    Keep up the good messages, Brother Jake!

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