Sometimes, you’re not the main character.

by Kevin on August 22, 2011

Don’t worry yourself with your wallet or your saddlebags or an extra pair of boots; and don’t even slow down to say hello to anyone on the road. Luke 10:4 (Simplified Cowboy Version)

On a ranch far, far away…

Two guys were fixing a windmill and going on about their business when they saw one of the ranch’s cowboys come over the hill horseback. He was in a long trot and seemed to be about some kind of business.

Both of the windmill hands had dreamed of getting a job on the Bar Cross and they looked at the cowboy with a combination of admiration, envy, and longing. They both stopped what they were doing as the cowboy came riding up close to the windmill…and kept right on going without saying a word.

They looked like two kids that had just been shunned by their childhood hero. They talked indignantly about how rude the cowboy was and maybe it was better if they didn’t work for an outfit like the Bar Cross.

The Sending of the Seventy-Two

In the Bible, Jesus sends out seventy-two cowboys to spread the word about the Kingdom of God. He tells these cowboys not to worry about taking anything extra because everything they need would  be provided for. Time and time again, Jesus tells them not to worry…don’t worry…no need to worry…why are you worried…quit worryin’…etc…

He said he was sending them out like lambs among wolves. Or in layman’s terms, “I’m sending you out like a bale of alfalfa among starvin’ cattle.” But still, his message is don’t worry.

We tend to put ourselves into the shoes of the disciples. We try to trade place and be David in his battle with Goliath. We want to raise our hands and part the Red Sea like Moses did. We even dream of having the strength of Samson or the faith of Job.

We always put ourselves in place of the Bible’s main characters, but what happens if you’re on the other side of the coin?

In addition to Jesus tellin’ these seventy-two not to worry, he tells them, “Don’t even greet anyone on the road.”

What!?

That doesn’t sound very “Jesus” like does it? What happened to loving your neighbor? What happened to giving and encouraging and all that stuff?

Let’s get back to the Bar Cross and see what happens a couple of weeks later…

At headquarters one afternoon, the two windmill hands ran into the cowboy that had shunned them. One of them said, “Hey, how come you was so stuck up that day we were working on the mill and you rode right by us and didn’t say hello or kiss my butt or anything?”

The cowboy kind of smiled and said, “I was lookin’ for a calf that got cut up real bad in the fence. I was trackin’ the blood and by the amount of it on the ground, I knew that if I didn’t reach him in time, he might die.”

“Well,” the other hand said, “you could have nodded or waved, or something.”

“Did you need something?” the cowboy asked.

“No.”

“Were you in some sort of trouble?”

“No.”

“Listen guys. I had an emergency and I didn’t have time to stop and chit-chat and shoot the breeze with you. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even have time to tell you what the emergency was. I saw y’all and knew that everything was fine with ya, but I knew that if I didn’t find that calf, he wouldn’t be fine.”

The cowboy walked in between them and placed a hand on each of their shoulders and said, “You worry about you and let me worry about me. We can talk and be friendly once all of our jobs are done.”

What if you’re not one of the seventy-two?

What if you are just passing by one of them and they don’t stop to greet you? Does this make them bad?

No.

We all need to concentrate more on what Jesus tells us to do and not worry about telling everyone else about it. In addition, we need to let others do what Jesus has called them to do without becoming indignant and worried and opinionated about every perceived slight or offense.

When Jesus says, “Don’t worry.” That means don’t worry about you….and quit worryin’ about everyone else too.

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  • Yup. I fall into this trap from time to time. It’s hard to remember that Jesus said “He who would be first must be last.” I’m sure when Mother Teresa first started serving in India, lots of people were thinking that was a pretty lowly job – and it was, by human standards.

    Sometimes it’s really hard to just decide to stop worrying.

    • Kevin

      I agree Chris.

      Like I told Sage, I just see a lot of Christians carrying their feelings around on their sleeves. They look for an injustice with every nuance and word said or not said.

      Not only in this instance of “don’t greet anyone you meet”, but also when Jesus told the Gentile woman “I shouldn’t give the kid’s food to the dogs”, there are many instances of Jesus seeming harsh. I don’t think Jesus had a harsh bone in his body, but neither did he put nicety before God.

  • Don Coyote

    Yep.

  • It’s always hard to look up to your heroes in the faith and not worry about what’s going on with them especially with how many times I’ve seen people fall and fall hard. Great word Kevin!

    • Kevin

      Obviously this isn’t an every day approach. I guess my message should have been entitled “Benefit of the Doubt”. To often I see people doing exactly what God tells them to and then see other Christians come along side and either start criticizing or trying to tell them how they are doing it wrong.

      There’s nothing wrong with accountability and encouragement, and even guidance, but there is way too much butting in most of the time.

      • No I hear what you’re saying about butting in where a person has no business and personally i’ve never had that problem. I tend to have more difficulty with being someone’s accountability partner than anything else because i assume the other person is doing great and doing only what they need to be doing.

        • Kevin

          You know what? I have that same problem!

          I’m sometimes afraid to hold people accountable. I always think that I would have told Ezekiel to quit being stupid and roll over or get up.

          Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean God’s not using it.

      • Don Coyote

        I, personally, try to live by one a the ol’ “Codes” and that is ta mind my own bidness. Somebody wants my advice/counsel/input they kin ask for it. I may or may not give it. After chewin’ on it some. As to somebody “runnin’ a blood track” so-to-speak, I figure that’s their bidness and also that of who (or what) ever put ’em on the track in the first place.

        • Kevin

          That’s the cowboy way! Just another example of a dying art. That’s why it’s so import to Save the Cowboy!

          • Don Coyote

            Yes sir

  • Greg Box

    Good Stuff! Thank You!

  • I enjoyed this one! Thanks!

    • Kevin

      Thank you ma’am!!

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