Dean had run this outfit for more years than he could recall. He had seen cowboys come and go like the passing of the seasons year after year. He worked very hard to be a positive influence on these young cowpokes. He did what he could to show them a better way of life.
Dean was known as an old cowboy that usually had the right answer for most any situation. Truth be known, he knew that most of the cowboys knew the answer to their own questions and problems. Most of the time they were just lookin’ for an easier way out of a situation. The cowboys that came to him for advice always left thinking that they had heard this advice from somewhere before. That was because Dean looked to God for all the answers.
Every single morning, Dean was waiting on the cowboys to saddle up. He didn’t get up earlier than the rest to try to best them in any way. He just tried to set a good example. He would never ask a cowboy to do something that he wasn’t willing to do himself. Dean lived by the code of righteousness. In other words, he tried to do the right thing all the time. He was kind when it was necessary. He was tough when he had to be. He loved everyone and you felt it in his handshake. Dean always said that doing the right thing was easy. It was choosing to do the right thing that was hard.
Whether it was around the campfire or sittin’ at home by the fire, everybody always knew that Dean was readin’ the Good Book in the evening time. You could see his lips move just a little if you watched him close as he read. A cowboy asked him one time, “What do you get out of that book by readin’ it every night?” Dean took off his small readin’ glasses and stuck an earpiece in his mouth as he closed the Bible.
Dean looked the young cowboy in the eye and said, “It helps me understand the yesterdays, gives me hope for the tomorrows, and gives me strength for the todays.” The cowboy and others looked down in quiet contemplation of this statement as Dean put his glasses back on and started reading.
Years later, the cowboys gathered around to listen to a man talk about Dean’s life. That’s what happens at funerals. Cowboys had come from all across the state to pay their last respects to a man that had shaped and molded so many lives.
Many of the cowboys had families now. If you were to walk through the crowd, you could hear stories being told to children about things that Dean had taught. There was a little bit of laughter in every story, but the emotion felt most was that of respect.
The preacher spoke of the good things Dean had done. He talked of how Dean had changed lives, not by fancy words, but by his quiet dedication to God and the cowboys that worked with him.
The minister said, “I heard a young cowboy ask Dean what the secret to life was. Of all the answers Dean could have given, he turned to the book of Titus and read from the 2nd chapter in verses 12 and 13.”
“We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.”
“Today” the preacher continued, “we all know that Dean’s hope of seeing that wonderful day when Christ’s glory will be revealed has come to pass. We know that he now sits beside Christ in heaven.”
There was silence as the preacher held the Bible up high and said, “A cowboy once asked Dean why he read the Bible every single day. Dean said, ‘It helps me understand the yesterdays, gives me hope for the tomorrows, and gives me strength for the todays.’ “
“I have taken that to heart since the night Dean spoke those words to me and then handed me his Bible. He told me he had another one in his saddle bags.”
A cowboy near the front held his own Bible up in the air and said that Dean had given him one too. Not a word was said as cowboy after cowboy held identical Bibles over their heads for all to see.