When God calls anyone to missions, the first question that crosses most minds is “WHY ME, LORD?”
In 1987, I was an unequipped, new baby Christian, who hardly knew any of God’s Word.
Those who know me well realize that I am a very practical person who appreciates practical answers in bullet format.
So God hit me between the eyes with exactly what He knew I needed to hear.
I clearly heard His voice (in my spirit) say: “I will use your Agriculture, your Nursing, and your ability to rough it!”
I remember thinking, “That makes sense. OK Lord, I’ll go!” (And the matter was settled.)
For the Lord knew that when I give my word, I kept it.
I loved Jesus with everything in my being for He saving me from Hell. To me, that meant I would do ANYTHING and GO ANYWHERE He asked me too.
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that God dropped the “rest of the story” into my lap.
I was watching a DVD from Animal Planet called “The Last American Cowboy”.
It suddenly dawned on me that Cowboys and missionaries share much in common. The traits that make a lifetime cowboy are the same as those that make a career missionary.
I was blown away by this revelation, and wondered to myself why I never saw it before. DUH????
Making this connection brought great JOY to my heart.
For I have always been a Texas Cowgirl at heart, and now I know why He sent me to manage a ranch for kids instead of horses.
On that DVD, they went to great lengths to film the reality of 3 modern American ranches, and the cowboys that work them.
Each ranch was run in a very different manner, yet all 3 families portrayed the same necessary traits that brought success to their ranches.
MAIN TRAITS OF A SUCCESSFUL COWBOY FAMILY:
1. Working long, hard hours to protect “their herd”, no matter what it took. (Persistence and perseverance taken to the max.)
2. Working in all kinds of weather, at great risk, to make sure “the herd” is safe. (Sacrifice)
3. Freely helping other ranchers when disaster struck with both emotional and financial support. (Empathy, generosity, and helps.)
4. Each family stuck together through the toughest of times. ( SHOWING FAITH in God, and never letting QUIT be an option).
5. Made many tough decisions on a daily basis. (Decisive) Able to make a decision and form a plan of action to make it happen.
6. Using tough love to help their family and team members learn so they could reach their potential. (Showing LOVE and respect through their actions as well as words.)
7. Dealing with life and death of members of “the herd” on a daily basis. (Empathy mixed with the emotional toughness needed to move on in order to help the survivors.)
8. Giving “their word” to complete an assigned task. That was better than a signed contract, for it was from the heart, and never broken if humanly possible. (Honesty, Transparency, and Integrity)
9. And last but not least, CHOOSING THAT LIFE, because they loved doing it. (Choosing the tougher lifestyle, enjoying the challenges, even though many easier options for making a living were available to them.)
10. God was evident in each ranch family’s life, even though it was obvious that not all knew the Lord. Some did, and their love and patience with the others was very evident.
The “dedicated cowboy’s” actions to save “his herd” is a great example of how God wants all of us to persist in seeking out the lost and leading them to HIM.
These traits and many more were evident in Jesus’ life, and thus are a part of each believer.
You must choose to use them to follow HIS PLAN for your life if you truly want to find happiness.
Speaking from many years of experience living a life of “roughing it”, I can tell you that God’s plan for you will not be your easiest “life option”.
But it WILL BE YOUR GREATEST REWARD.
IT ALLOWS YOU TO LEAVE BEHIND A LEGACY OF JESUS FOLLOWERS THAT IS WORTH MUCH MORE THAN ANYTHING THIS WORLD CAN IMAGINE.
Are we expected to be perfect? Always doing or saying the right thing?
Hardly. That is why He gave us REPENTANCE, which literally means to turn AWAY (from sin) and go in the opposite direction.
These lyrics from a great song sum up what I believe Jesus wants from all of us.
“For when it is all said and done, did you give your best for Jesus?”
For doing our best to follow HIS PLAN for each of us is all He asks.
A MESSAGE STRAIGHT TO YOU FROM THE HEART OF BUSH BUNNY BRENDA